Saturday, 15 November 2014

Operation Seabrook - Medomsley Detention Centre Updates!

Operation Seabrook - Medomsley Detention Centre

Launched Operation Seabrook (12811630)


​ ‘Operation Seabrook’ is the criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by staff against detainees at Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett, County Durham.

It was launched in August 2013 and is investigating abuse which happened over a period of many years, principally the 1970's and 1980's. 

The 'Seabrook' team has now heard from more than 950 former inmates at Medomsley who have reported they were abused while detained at the centre during those years.
A BBC 'Inside Out' programme on the case was broadcast at the end of January 2014 and remains available to view via the BBC website.

The Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) is Det Supt Paul Goundry, with Det Chief Insp Brad Howe as the deputy SIO. Marian Garland, a former detective has been appointed victim co-ordinator and can be contacted directly via

Numerous lines of inquiry have been undertaken to identify those responsible for offences at Medomsley who are still alive, and detectives are now in the process of carrying out interviews with a number of former prison officers and members of staff. This process is expected to last until late January 2015.

Durham Constabulary is working with various organisations to provide the best possible support for victims. Access to support is available without the need to contact the police for those who feel unable to do so.

Independent Psychotherapist Zoe Lodrick

The following organisations can be contacted independently of the police for support .

NSPCC FREEPHONE HELPLINE (24 hrs): 0808 800 5000

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children                             

The helpline is available for anyone who has concerns about a child or anyone including adults who wish to discuss their own experience of abuse as a child or young person.

Contact can also be made via e mail :  or by text 88858
Contact can be made anonymously if the caller so wishes.

National Association for People Abused in Childhood

Freephone from all landlines and mobile networks 0808 801 0331.

Calls do not show on your bill; lines are open 10am to 9pm Monday - Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday. NAPAC is unable to take messages or ring back. 

The Meadows:
The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Darlington and Co Durham) 0191 301 8554

The Meadows will accept calls between the hours of 9am-3.30 pm Monday to Friday and can arrange one-to-one counselling sessions and can make referrals to similar centres throughout the UK.

Counselling does not involve discussing what has happened in relation to the assault, it aims to help you work through your feelings to aid the healing process.

Staff at the Meadows will not contact the police without your consent unless there are current concerns in respect of a child or vulnerable adult. 

Launched Operation Seabrook (12811630) 

Police start investigation into historic allegations of abuse of young inmates by warders

Launched Operation Seabrook (12811630)

First published in Consett News
DETECTIVES have begun interviewing former prison officers over allegations that young inmates were physically and sexually abused.

Since August 2013, 915 men have told police that as teenagers they were abused at Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, County Durham, between the 1960s and 1988, when the centre closed.

Durham Police launched Operation Seabrook to investigate the claims.

Around 300 have alleged they were assaulted by Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson, former Medomsley officers who have since died. Both were convicted after an investigation in the early 2000s.

Since last Thursday four men have been invited to attend formal interviews under caution at Durham and Consett police stations by the Seabrook team.

All were prison officers at Medomsley at differing times during the 1970s and 1980s and have since retired.

They were not arrested but may be interviewed again.

Det Supt Paul Goundry, who is leading Operation Seabrook, said: “Our initial priority was to gain a full understanding of how Medomsley Detention Centre operated during that time.

“We also needed to make counselling and professional support available to anyone who needed help, and I am really pleased that almost 200 victims have taken up this offer.

“Many of those who have contacted us had never revealed to anyone else what had happened to them at Medomsley all those years ago.

“It has been a traumatic experience for some, and I appreciate their courage in coming forward and making that initial call.

“A principal aim was to identify a number of people we needed to speak to about the allegations that have been made.

“The actions we are now taking are crucial to that aspect of the operation, and there are a number of other former employees we will be making contact with over the next few weeks.

“We have been liaising with the Prison Officers Association (POA) over the last few months and anyone we interview is made aware of the legal support the POA can provide.

“There is still a huge amount of work which has to be done and we are in close contact with the Crown Prosecution Service, who ultimately will decide if there are grounds to charge individuals with criminal offences.”

Up to 70 detectives from the major crime and safeguarding teams have been involved in Operation Seabrook.

Counselling and support for Medomsley victims is available via the local Sexual Assault Referral Centre, known as The Meadows, 0191-301 8554.