Tag: child abuse compensation

Medomsley Detention Centre and Sexual Abuse Compensation Claims

Medomsley Detention

The first report of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre; a correctional facility for boys and young men aged 17-21, appeared in the media in 1967. It was a harrowing start to what would turn out to be one of the most prolific cases of child abuse in the UK.

In 2003, one of the prison officers at the centre; Neville Husband, was convicted of raping and abusing inmates throughout the 1970s and the 1980s. Along with this, Husband was suspected of operating as part of a paedophile ring, with investigations eventually resulting in the conviction of one of the care home’s storemen; Leslie Johnson.

Since the convictions, both men have died of natural causes. But today; more than 40 years since the abuse of vulnerable teenage boys began, more and more victims are coming forward to reveal the horror that they suffered at the hands of these criminals.

Though some of the victims have been paid compensation already, there are still questions as to how these men were able to get away with their crimes for so long – and why the police and prison system failed to act on their suspicious or notice the level of abuse.

One victim said, of Husband’s conviction: “I’ll never be over it. You only have one life and once it’s irreparably damaged, that’s it.” (1)

The abuse wasn’t just sexual, the same victim told The Guardian: “I saw him crushing one guy between two gates. He just kept doing it and laughing. Another time he put my hand in a hot pidi – a metal pie dish – and was pushing my hand down as he was fondling me.”

Since the case was reopened in August 2013, leading to 143 statements documenting the crimes within less than 12 months (2), the inquiry’s terms of reference have placed a bar on evidence. This bar, which victims are threatening to boycott (4), precludes the team from hearing evidence from men who were over 18 at the time of the abuse –  though it will take into account any behaviour that commenced before the age of 18. (3)

 

At the time of the crimes, the age of consent for gay men was 21. John McCabe, one of the spokesmen for many of the alleged victims of Medomsley said of the bar: “We were sexually abused under the age of consent, so how can they say they cannot take evidence from more than 1,000 young people who were abused while in the care of the state?”

Since the inquiry began, no less than 1,350 former detainees of the notorious detention centre have claimed that they were abused.

We are representing victims and those affected by the horrific crimes that took place at Medomsley Detention Centre. And though the suffering caused at the hands of these criminals can never truly be compensated for, any financial implications that the events may have had on the career or working life of the victims, can be.

If you were a victim of either physical or sexual abuse at Medomsley, or any other care home, and you would like expert advice, Hampson Hughes may be able to help. Our expert Criminal Injuries & Sexual Abuse Team can ensure that your case will remain confidential, and can help to hold any guilty parties accountable. Call 0151 236 1222 for free, no obligation advice from our expert team or visit our Sexual Abuse Claims site for more information.

Sources

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/apr/13/abuse-teenage-boys-detention-centre-crime
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-25834368
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/12/bar-on-evidence-of-medomsley-inmates-is-a-slap-in-the-face-for-victims-of-abuse
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/08/hundreds-of-alleged-abuse-victims-threaten-to-boycott-jay-inquiry

Three Arrested Following BBC Panorama Investigation

Three men have been arrested following a recent Panorama investigation into alleged abuse at a young offenders’ centre in Kent.

Allegations of Child Neglect

The BBC programme saw investigators go under cover at Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester, which is run by security firm G4S, highlighting numerous allegations of the inappropriate behaviour of staff members.

The three men have been held on suspicion of child neglect relating to ten boys, with ages ranging from 14 to 17. They are among four team leaders at Medway that were sacked earlier this week.

The allegations of abuse highlighted by BBC Panorama include:

• Foul language being used by staff to frighten and intimidate;
• Staff boasting about incidents of mistreatment, including stabbing one teenager in the leg with a fork and causing another to cry uncontrollably;
• Staff slapping a teenager’s head multiple times;
• Staff utilising unnecessary restraint methods;
• Staff ‘pressing heavily’ on the necks of teenagers.

Further to this, it has been alleged that incidents such as the above are often carried out in areas within the centre that are not covered by CCTV in an attempt by staff to conceal any inappropriate conduct.

Suspensions

A further three men have been suspended at the centre following the claims, including a training centre assistant and two duty operation managers. Whilst a female duty operation manager has been put on restricted duty and a healthcare worker (employed by Central and North West London Trust) has also been suspended from their position.

A spokesperson for the Trust has said:

“One CNWL staff member contacted us before the programme to say that they had been present at one incident in the film; the footage broadcast confirmed this.

“Whilst we are pleased he came forward, he has been suspended whilst that incident is fully investigated.”

Reaction of G4S

Managing director for children’s services at G4S, Paul Cook, has released a statement saying that the police and relevant authorities have the firm’s full support and cooperation. He added that they will continue to provide police with access to their centres, records and CCTV footage.

“There is no place in our business for the conduct shown on the BBC’s Panorama programme on Monday night.

“We are grateful to the police for their swift action in this case.

“We will work with the police and local authority to keep our own actions under review in light of today’s developments.”

All claims have been referred by G4S to the Ministry of Justice and the Youth Justice Board, as well as Medway’s local authority designated officer.

Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in handling abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: BBC News