Medomsley Detention Centre, Country Durham, was a correctional facility opened in February 1961. The aim of the facility was to provide an alternative to prison for boys and young men aged 17-21.
First reports of abuse emerge
The first report of physical abuse appeared in the media in 1967. David Watkins MP raised concerns about the treatment of inmates at the facility, after hearing claims from a mother that her teenage son was subjected to repeated beatings. The boy spent 5 weeks in hospital.
Mr Watkins took his complaint to the Home Secretary. The MP received a response from the then Home Office minister Lord Stonham, stating that the mother and son’s claim was unsubstantiated. The matter was not pursued.
Rape at Medomsley Detention Centre
In 2003, prison officer Neville Husband was convicted of raping inmates at Medomsley Detention Centre. The conviction covered allegations of rape throughout the 1970s and the 1880s.
Husband was suspected of operating as part of paedophile ring. Further investigations led to the arrest and conviction of Leslie Johnson, a storeman at Medomsley.
Husband and Johnson have both since died in prison of natural causes. The centre was closed, and has been reopened as Hassockfield Secure Training Centre (STC).
How much compensation awarded to victims of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre?
Prime Minister David Cameron has assured Durham MP Pat Glass that “help and support” will be given to the small local police force in Durham, as up to 500 people may have suffered abuse at the centre.
Payments to victims are thought to average around £40,000
Taking action – how Hampson Hughes Solicitors can help you
Our experienced Criminal Injuries & Sexual Abuse Team is currently supporting those affected by the events at Medomsley Detention Centre.
We will ensure that your case remains confidential, and that all guilty parties are held accountable.
For further information, please contact Hampson Hughes on 0800 888 6888
You can also contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A 10 year old investigation into child abuse at a former County Durham detention centre was reopened last year following further allegations against inmates and staff.
The investigation was reopened in August, 2013. Since this time, Durham Police has received 143 statements documenting the crimes that took place.
Victim Speaks Out
Ray Poar has waived his right to anonymity and has spoken openly of his ordeal at Medomsley.
Mr Poar was 17 when he was placed in the facility – as punishment for stealing biscuits. He recalls being woken after wetting the bed, and being forced to bunny hop naked in the showers.
“When I couldn’t make it to the showers I was kicked. We knew we couldn’t turn around to them and complain to them about what had happened with Husband because they were part of it, they were the ones that were kicking us about every day. The odd punch in the arm, the ribs, the back of the knees, every day they were doing it. You had nobody to talk to.”
The investigation highlighted Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson as being two staff members at the centre of the paedophile ring. The men were imprisoned in 2003 and 2005 respectively, and have both since died.
Det Supt Paul Goundry has described Medomsley as a “brutal regime”, commenting that:
“If you ended up in the kitchens you would almost certainly be raped and sexually assaulted”
Mr Goundry has outlined three key objectives. These are to uncover exactly what happened, to then bring those responsible to account, and to offer support to victims.
Sexual abuse compensation claims
If you think you, or someone you know, may have been affected by events at Medomsley – or by any similar case – and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email email@example.com
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