The Aycliffe Assessment Centre became the subject of investigations over allegations of physical abuse and brutality. The allegations relate primarily to a period between the 1980s and 1990s. Many former residents came forward with allegations of harsh physical treatment. A Government report from the early 1990s was critical of the regime in place at the time.
In 2001 as a consequence of a police investigation, one former member of staff Martyn Locklin, who worked as a housemaster, was convicted of sexual abuse and offences that related to children under his care at the Aycliffe Centre.He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment which was later reduced to 12 years for the abuse against 3 boys, including rape, between the period of 1988 and 1996.
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