Thursday, 31 October 2013

A timely Reminder


From 31:38 to end of video

“I do want to hear Mr McCann”


“Mr Speaker, Prison Officer Neville Husband abused young men in the Medomsley Detention Centre for decades before he was prosecuted and sentenced for some of his crimes.

A Constituent who was abused by Husband has given me information which suggests that senior figures in the Establishment knew what was going on. 

The CPS refuses to pursue these matters and instead the Home Office has sought to issue compensation payments. 

Mr Speaker, young men were detained by the State and then they were abused by the State. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that a full enquiry is necessary to insure that justice is done and is seen to be done?”

DAVID CAMERON (Prime Minister - Conservative):

“Well I think the first thing that the honourable gentleman should do, and I’m sure he already has, is make sure that any evidence he has of abuse, or of cover-ups of abuse, or compliance with abuse, is given to the Crown Prosecution Service and given too the authorities so it can be properly investigated.
The Home Affairs Select Committee on which I sat actually looked into this issue in years gone past, made a number of recommendations, so I’ll look ‘carefully’ at what the honourable gentleman said and see if there’s more advice I can provide.”


This group of men 'The Medomsley Heroes', primarily from N.E. England, were all sexually abused by senior prison officer 'Neville Husband' back in the 70s. For more than seven years the survivors sought an apology and compensation from the Home Office for their horrific abuse whilst in the care of Medomsley Young Offenders Institution. All the victims interviewed felt they were pressurised into settling their claims out of court, but continue to push for a public enquiry. (Neville Husband served 8 years out of a 10-year sentence in prison for the offence, he was released in October 2009 and died August 2010).

Pie and Mash Films, based in S.E. London is an independent film company working with the victims. Acclaimed Film director Bill Maloney, who has himself come forward as a former victim of institutional abuse, was approached by the Medomsley Heroes to tell their stories of abuse at the hands of the 'Establishment'. They trusted Bill to allow them to tell the truth with freedom of speech and emotions and without the sanitation imposed by major broadcasters.

Adam Rickwood brings the story up to date.
During his investigations Bill Maloney also discovered that just five years ago the youngest child to die in custody, Adam Rickwood (14) allegedly committed suicide at the same detention centre - now under the name of Hassockfield STC. Bill built a bond with Carol Pounder, Adam's Mother, and with Adam's family and friends who do not believe he committed suicide. The connection of ligature techniques both on the Medomsley victims and on Adam Rickwood is disturbing.

Bill Maloney is now dedicating his filmmaking skills to fight against institutional child abuse. His whole family were brought up and abused in the British care system. In his documentary 'Adam Rickwood & The Medomsley Heroes' his intention is to allow the victims to speak for themselves in a working class manner that represents his own culture.

Bill's technique, to comprise a bigger picture into the smaller frame that the public is often shown, breathes life and thought provoking images into the documentary.

The gritty documentary's aim is to inform and raise public awareness as to the brutality and dangers dwelling within child care institutions and within the 'youth' prison service. The restraining techniques used by children's care officers are horrific and cause children as young as 14 to take their own lives.

This documentary instigated an investigation by Eric Allison at The Guardian Newspaper:

'OpperationSeabrook Makes A Stand.'

Durham Constabulary announced in August 2013 that they are to investigate offences committed against boys at the Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham during the 1970s and 1980s. Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry and Detective Sergeant Wayne Barrigan met with a Medomsley abuse survivor and David Greenwood of Switalskis solicitors on 16th October 2013 to set out his intentions for the investigation after 82 victims of abuse had already contacted Durham police.

Mr Goundry set out his plan to have dedicated and specially trained detectives and support staff working closely with victims to not only take details of abusive experiences but to plan support. He is determined to ensure that his investigation uncovers as much information as possible about abuse at Medomsley.

Mr Goundry realises his main task is to convince former “trainees” at Medomsley to trust that the police will treat them with respect and will take their complaints seriously. He is committed to implementing best practice and to demonstrate that his investigation will set a new high standard for investigations into institutional abuse.

The plans of Durham police come at the same time as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer, announced new guidance for police forces when investigating abuse of children. Mr Starmer said “We are without doubt at a moment of fundamental change in the way we view these offences within the criminal justice system and in our society as a whole.” Police investigations are now to focus on the strengths of the victims evidence rather than perceived weaknesses.

David Greenwood commented: “I am certain that Durham police are serious about getting to the truth of what went wrong at Medomsley and Mr Goundry’s plans for the investigation are impressive. I would urge any former inmates of Medomsley to contact Durham Constabulary by ringing 101. Even the smallest piece of evidence could turn out to be important in bringing offenders to justice.”

David Greenwood
Child Abuse Department 
Tel: 01709 890400

Almost 100 alleged victims of detention centre abuse come forward

By David Cowan

Medomsley: The abuse took place at the detention centre in County Durham.STV
Almost 100 alleged victims of sexual abuse at a detention centre have come forward after a Scot persuaded police to reopened the case.

The inquiry into Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham was launched after John McCabe, a father-of-three from East Kilbride, told police he was raped by a prison officer 30 years ago.

His attacker, Neville Husband, was later jailed for sexually abusing other prisoners at Medomsley between 1974 and 1984. He was released in 2009 and died a year later from natural causes.

Mr McCabe has since told police Husband took him out of the centre and allowed him to be raped by another man, who has never been prosecuted.

Durham Constabulary launched a new investigation, their third into the centre, and appealed for other former inmates to come forward if they too suffered abuse. So far, 94 alleged victims have come forward to say they were also abused at the centre.

Mr McCabe told STV News: "I'm happy for them, that they've found the courage to break their silence and come forward. As long as their welfare is looked after, I'm happy about that.

"I believe in the investigation by Durham Constabulary. With 80 officers, it tells you that they're putting everything into the investigation. It's now the biggest investigation into sexual abuse within government institituions in Britain in history.

"I believe that we will get justice."

Neville Husband
Neville Husband who abused John McCabe and other boys at the centre.

Medomsley closed in the late 1980s and has since reopened as a secure training centre for teenage boys and girls from England and Wales.

Earlier this year Mr McCabe waived his right to anonymity and told STV News about the abuse he suffered.
The 48-year-old says he was recruited by Husband to work in the kitchen. He was then taken to a changing room and attacked.

He said: "He came up behind me and put a knife at my throat. From that moment on he raped me, sexually abused me, sexually tortured me. It went on for about four or five months into my sentence."

Mr McCabe says the abuse took place in the centre, in Husband's home and at another location nearby.

Precise details of what took place are not being released to avoid compromising the police investigation.

He said: "At that location I was raped by another individual. And then the person just left, and walked away."

John McCabe
John McCabe spoke out about the abuse he suffered at the centre.

Former inmates of Medomsley say other prison officers knew what Neville Husband was doing but turned a blind eye. It has been claimed prisoners who complained to police at the time were ignored.

Mr McCabe said: "Every day has been an obstacle; every day has been a hurdle.

"But we're finally here. The Durham police are going to fully investigate every avenue. I've got full trust in them that they are going to investigate this properly and bring to account everyone who was responsible for what happened.

"I would call for every victim out there, from Medomsley, to come forward, and not to suffer in silence."

Related articles


More victims come forward in historic abuse investigation

Last updated Thu 31 Oct 2013

Police: "The victims have shown extreme bravery"

Detective Chief Inspector Brad Howe, Durham Police

Investigation into former youth detention centre
Detectives have launched a new investigation into a former youth detention centre in County Durham amid allegations that hundreds of young inmates may have been systematically abused there in the 1970s and 80s.
A new investigation into alleged abuse by staff at Medomsley Detention Centre in the 1970s and 80s has uncovered some shocking testimony. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees Police say 94 alleged victims of sexual abuse at a County Durham detention centre have now come forward. Officers believe there are many others still unreported.

A new investigation into alleged abuse by staff at Medomsley Detention Centre in the 1970s and 80s has uncovered some shocking testimony.
Senior prison officer Neville Husband and caretaker Leslie Johnson were convicted of sex offences in 2003. Both have since died.
Police are now investigating other members of an alleged paedophile ring within the centre.

Detectives have launched a new investigation into a former youth detention centre in County Durham amid allegations that hundreds of young inmates may have been systematically abused there in the 1970s and 80s.


Borstal governor was 'a leading member' of paedophile ring which preyed on inmates, victims claim

Accused: James Millar Reid 


Accused: James Millar Reid

James Millar Reid implicated in allegations that young offenders were taken from the prison grounds to be abused by staff members

The governor of a borstal at the centre of a major abuse scandal was a leading member of a predatory sex gang, victims claimed last night.

James Millar Reid has been accused of preying on inmates and covering up the activities of a circle of paedophile guards at Medomsley Detention Centre.

Durham Police has reopened the ­investigation into the borstal after fresh allegations inmates were being ferried off the grounds and sexually abused by staff.

A Mirror probe has led to 94 people contacting police to say they were victims in the 70s and 80s.

It is fast becoming one of the worst cases of mass scale sexual abuse at a government-run institution seen in this country.

Durham Police have assigned 80 detectives and the full resources of its Major Crimes Team to investigate the claims.

Reid was found dead after being approached by officers who originally investigated the case. He is alleged to have personally taken part in the sexual abuse of inmates aged 16 to 19.

Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, County Durham

Abuse: Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett, County Durham North News

Senior prison officer Neville Husband and caretaker Leslie Johnson were convicted of sex abuse offences.

Reid is thought to have wielded his power as governor between 1976 and 1970 to cover up complaints by inmates and protect the likes of Husband, Johnson and other predatory guards.

A witness statement unearthed by the Mirror, made to police in 2002 by ex-prison officer Alan Reed, suggests abuse at the institution was common knowledge.

Mr Reed, who served while Reid was in charge, told officers: “At the time I was at Medomsley with Husband, who I believe left before me, I did hear rumours that he was interfering with the boys.”

Kevin Young, now 53, was sent to Medomsley at 17 for stealing a watch.

He is convinced Reid was also one of the paedophiles operating at the borstal.

Kevin said: “I’m ­positive he was in the room when I was being abused by guards, and was governor of Medomsley at the time.

"He was a key member of the group of abusers operating at the borstal while I was there. I’ve always believed the abuse was known by everyone at the jail.

“It was a huge cover up from the top down, including by the governor himself.
“On one occasion, when I believe Reid was present, I was taken off the premises of Medomsley to a house in the village where I was abused.

“When I left Medomsley I went straight to the local police station and reported the sex abuse happening there.
“But nothing was done about it. There was no investigation. It was brushed under the carpet.”

Former borstal inmate Kevin Young
Victim: Former borstal inmate Kevin Young reported the abuse but nothing was done North News

Another victim, John McCabe, said he was 17 when sex beast Husband raped him every day for six months.

He has fought with senior Labour MP Michael McCann for the investigation to be reopened.

John said: “I’ve always maintained that everyone from the top down knew what was going on. I believe complaints were made and they were covered up.

“Everyone at the prison knew what was happening.

“There were only 12 full-time prison officers plus the warden.

“If abuse was going on at that scale, how could the management not know?

"Now the people who covered up the abuse, prison officers, governors, police, everyone who knew needs to be held accountable.”

He went on: “These people have gone unpunished for too long while those who were supposed to be in their care have seen their lives fall apart because of the abuse they suffered.

"Now it’s time for the full truth, however ­uncomfortable, to finally come out.”

Detectives knocked on Reid’s door in September 2000 and planned to quiz him over allegations of sexual abuse at Medomsley.

But he asked officers if he could come to the station the following day to make a statement.

Days later, Reid mysteriously disappeared and his body was ­discovered in a nearby wood.

An inquest into his death, held in February 2001, recorded an open verdict. But the cause of death was given as ­"unascertainable” because the body was badly decomposed.

One of Reid’s relatives said: “He never spoke about his work. It was all very secretive, we thought because of the sensitive nature of working in the prison service.”

Former managers at Medomsley continue to deny any boy made complaints about sexual abuse.

Paedophile Neville Husband, now a church leader, found guilty and jailed for 8 years on sex abuse charges
Predator: Paedophile Neville Husband
North News

Jailed sexual predator Husband, who became a church minister after he left Medomsley, preyed on dozens of youngsters between 1974 and 1984.

He is fast becoming one of Britain’s most prolific sex abusers with dozens of victims contacting Durham Police to name him as their abuser.

Husband would use his position of authority in the prison kitchens to groom and rape youngsters on and off the premises.
He was eventually locked up for 12 years in 2003 and has since died.

Officers are also examining Leslie Johnson’s role in the sex ring and suspect his activities may have been wider and greater than previously thought.

Medomsley closed during the late 1980s after the abuse came to light. It has since reopened as a secure training centre.

If you have any information that might help the ­investigation, or if you were an inmate or worked at the borstal, call Durham Constabulary on 101.

But if you do not want to involve the police but are a victim of Medomsley and want advice and guidance you can call The Meadows: Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0191 301 8554.


Top detective praises The Mirror as probe starts

Detectives working on the HM Medomsley detention centre abuse investigation
Briefing: Detectives working on the HM Medomsley detention centre abuse investigation
The special police squad set up to crack the case granted us exclusive access to the heart of its investigation.

In the hushed briefing room, Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry announces: “We’ve taken the unusual step of inviting the Daily Mirror to be here with us.

“They have been absolutely crucial in getting us this far by putting the message out there to victims, so just trust me on this one.”

Operation Seabrook is now the largest police probe into historic sex abuse at a government institution - with 80 officers assigned to Medomsley.

Det Supt Goundry told us before we entered: “You need to be prepared for what you will hear.”

He goes on to provide everyone with a background to the case, saying: “We have 94 victims come forward so far...what they went through is horrific.”

Officers hope to compile a list of all prison officers at the borstal in the 70s and 80s and identify the abusers.

Det Supt Goundry invited detectives to speak about some of their experiences with victims - and some of the testimony is far too harrowing for a family newspaper.

One officer’s voice shakes with anger as he recounts what one victim told him, an account, like all others from victims that is being kept strictly confidential.

Det Supt Goundry leans over and whispers: “See what I mean? This is the tip of the iceberg.

"Every victim must now know they have an opportunity to contact us, tell their story and be taken seriously.”

Teenagers sentenced for petty crimes, abused in the worst ways imaginable. They were supposed to receive “short shock treatment” - creating a tough environment they would never forget. How true that was.