Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Another report in the press has highlighted horrific abuse at a former County Durham Detention Centre.

According to press reports, men detained at Medomsley Detention Centre were subject to sexual and physical abuse by prison officers employed there.

One such prison officer, Neville Husband, was convicted of numerous offences and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2003 and another employee, Leslie Johnson who was a store man, was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2005.   Newcastle Crown Court heard that Mr Husband “used his position of authority” when employed at Medomsley to inflict abuse on detainees from 1974 to 1984.  He was found guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault and one of serious sexual assault after at least 24 victims came forward. Messrs Husband and Johnson are both now deceased.

Durham Police reopened the investigation in August 2013 and so far 143 alleged victims have come forward. One such victim has been reported as saying “Some of the boys would lie at the bottom of the stairs and ask another boy to jump off the stairs onto their legs so they could break a leg and be removed from Medomsley Detention Centre in order not to be subjected to any more beatings”. 

This seems to be an extraordinary way of detainees trying to protect themselves from sexual abuse and beatings. This would seem a desperate measure to protect each other from further harm and abuse.

The sickening part of this is that most of the detainees were sent to Medomsley for minor offences such as petty theft and many were first time offenders.

Tim Newell was the governor at Medomsley from 1978 to 1981 but he prepared a report stating that Mr Husband provided “an outstanding contribution to the running of the establishment”.  This of course cannot be true as there are currently 70 police officers in Durham involved in this enquiry.

Even the Director General of the prison service at the time of the offences coming to light, Martin Narey, has said “Without reservation I apologise to people at Medomsley who were harmed by Neville Husband. We should have stopped him much earlier.”

In the same vein as Operation Yewtree it would appear that people knew that the abuse was taking place but did very little to stop it or prevent it happening to others. Institutional systemic abuse in such institutions as the BBC and Medomsley must have been common knowledge at the time. However, it has taken many years to bring the perpetrators of the abuse to justice.  Jimmy Savile died before he could be brought to justice and the victims of his abuse feel cheated that he was not made to answer to them for the abuse he carried out in much the same way as the victims of Husband and Johnson who are now coming forward many years after the abuse was carried out.

Abuse, be it physical, sexual or emotional, can carry lifelong psychological difficulties for victims and it takes courage and motivation for victims to come forward and tell others what has happened.  I see many clients who are paralysed emotionally because of such abuse and they have extreme difficulty moving on with life as a consequence.

I fear that the institutional abuse such as that carried out at Medomsley was down to a small number of individuals who felt the need to exploit the detainees.  The detainees were vulnerable and incapable of protecting themselves at the time of the abuse, and after release from Medomsley they had to grapple with the harmful effects of the abuse and the stigma attached to being incarcerated at Medomsley and this in itself, for many, would have prevented them from disclosing such abuse to the police or other such authorities.

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Hundreds contact abuse probe police

Updated on the 05 February 2014

Hundreds more potential victims of abuse at a young offenders' centre in County Durham during the late 1960s and the mid-1980s have come forward to police.

Detectives announced in August they were starting a new investigation into allegations young men sent to Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett were abused by staff.

But following widespread media coverage last week, over 200 more people came forward bringing the total number to 375.

The police said as a result all those who have rung over the last 10 days will be seen by an officer and given the appropriate support and counselling.

Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry, Durham Constabulary, said: "Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before.

"The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us. That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.

"As our inquiries continue we are constantly learning, not only from the victims but all the agencies we are working alongside such as the NSPCC and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at The Meadows. I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally."

In 2003, a previous police investigation called Operation Halter led to the conviction of Neville Husband, a prison officer at the centre.

Husband was initially jailed for eight years after being found guilty of abusing five youngsters.

The publicity surrounding the trial then led to others coming forward and Husband was subsequently jailed for a further two years for these attacks.

After being released from prison he died from natural causes in 2010.

Source 

Medomsley Detention Centre: More than 200 'new victims'

Published: 5th Feb 2014 13:49:41

More than 200 potential new sex attack victims have come forward since a BBC programme about abuse at a former detention centre was shown.

Durham Police said it had more than 300 calls about treatment of inmates at Medomsley Juvenile Detention Centre, in County Durham, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Two members of staff at the centre were jailed in 2003 and 2005 over the abuse.

The Inside Out North East programme was shown a week ago and Durham Police said new callers would get counselling.

Before the programme was televised, police had spoken to 143 people - most claiming to be victims.

But after the broadcast, a further 230 calls were received, with the majority saying they were victims.

Dept Supt Paul Goudrey, said: "All those who have rung over the last 10 days will be seen by an officer over the coming weeks and steered towards the appropriate support and counselling.

"Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before.

"The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us."

The centre closed in 1988 after the abuse came to light, but has since reopened as a secure training unit.
Neville Husband, who worked at the detention centre as a prison officer, was jailed for 12 years in 2003, and Leslie Johnson, a store man, was sentenced to six years in 2005.
Both men have since died.

200 Potential New Victims Of Abuse At Detention Centre

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11:23am 5th February 2014
(Updated 2:58pm 5th February 2014)

More than 200 potential new victims have now come forward as Police investigate allegations of child sex abuse at a County Durham detention centre.

The case into Medomsley was re-opened last August by Durham Police.

It is alleged young men sent there were subjected to abuse at the hands of staff in the 70s and 80s.

An earlier investigation led to a former catering officer at the centre, Neville Husband being jailed in 2003 for abusing a number of young men over a period of time. He died in 2010, following his release from prison.

Up to last Monday, 27th January police had spoken to 143 people, the vast majority of whom were victims who had not previously come forward.

The total also included a small number of possible witnesses or callers who had information which might help the police enquiries.

Widespread media coverage of the investigation has since prompted a further 232 calls to police, bringing the total to 375. 

All those who have rung over the last ten days will be seen by an officer over the coming weeks and steered towards the appropriate support and counselling.

Detective Superintedent Paul Goundary from Durham Constabulary is leading the investigation and said:
“Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before,” said

“The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us.

"That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.
“As our enquiries continue we are constantly learning, not only from the victims but all the agencies we are working alongside such as the NSPCC and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at The Meadows.

"I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally.”

Source

Hundreds contact abuse probe police


Hundreds more potential victims of abuse at a young offenders' centre in County Durham during the late 1960s and the mid-1980s have come forward to police.

Detectives announced in August they were starting a new investigation into allegations young men sent to Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett were abused by staff.

But following widespread media coverage last week, over 200 more people came forward bringing the total number to 375.

The police said as a result all those who have rung over the last 10 days will be seen by an officer and given the appropriate support and counselling.

Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry, Durham Constabulary, said: "Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before.

"The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us. That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.

"As our inquiries continue we are constantly learning, not only from the victims but all the agencies we are working alongside such as the NSPCC and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at The Meadows. I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally."

In 2003, a previous police investigation called Operation Halter led to the conviction of Neville Husband, a prison officer at the centre.

Husband was initially jailed for eight years after being found guilty of abusing five youngsters.
The publicity surrounding the trial then led to others coming forward and Husband was subsequently jailed for a further two years for these attacks.

After being released from prison he died from natural causes in 2010.

Source

Hundreds contact abuse probe police

Published Date: 05 February 2014

Hundreds more potential victims of abuse at a young offenders' centre in County Durham during the late 1960s and the mid-1980s have come forward to police.

Detectives announced in August they were starting a new investigation into allegations young men sent to Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett were abused by staff.

But following widespread media coverage last week, over 200 more people came forward bringing the total number to 375.

The police said as a result all those who have rung over the last 10 days will be seen by an officer and given the appropriate support and counselling.

Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry, Durham Constabulary, said: "Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before.

"The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us. That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.

"As our inquiries continue we are constantly learning, not only from the victims but all the agencies we are working alongside such as the NSPCC and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at The Meadows. I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally."

In 2003, a previous police investigation called Operation Halter led to the conviction of Neville Husband, a prison officer at the centre.

Husband was initially jailed for eight years after being found guilty of abusing five youngsters.

The publicity surrounding the trial then led to others coming forward and Husband was subsequently jailed for a further two years for these attacks.

After being released from prison he died from natural causes in 2010.
Source

Medomsley Detention Centre: More than 200 'new victims'

The former Medomsley Detention Centre















 The detention centre closed in the late 1980s
 
More than 200 potential new sex attack victims have come forward since a BBC programme about abuse at a former detention centre was shown.

Durham Police said it had more than 300 calls about treatment of inmates at Medomsley Juvenile Detention Centre, in County Durham, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Two members of staff at the centre were jailed in 2003 and 2005 over the abuse.

The Inside Out North East programme was shown a week ago and Durham Police said new callers would get counselling.

Before the programme was televised, police had spoken to 143 people - most claiming to be victims.

But after the broadcast, a further 230 calls were received, with the majority saying they were victims.

'Clearer picture'
 
Dept Supt Paul Goudrey, said: "All those who have rung over the last 10 days will be seen by an officer over the coming weeks and steered towards the appropriate support and counselling.

"Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before.

"The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us."

The centre closed in 1988 after the abuse came to light, but has since reopened as a secure training unit.
Neville Husband, who worked at the detention centre as a prison officer, was jailed for 12 years in 2003, and Leslie Johnson, a store man, was sentenced to six years in 2005.

Both men have since died.

Source

Prime Minister pledges support to Durham Police probe into Medomsley Detention Centre abuse


The Advertiser Series: Prime Minister pledges support to Durham Police probe into Medomsley Detention Centre abuse

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Prime Minister pledges support to Durham Police probe into Medomsley Detention Centre abuse
THE PRIME Minister has today given his assurance that Durham Police will be given all the support they need as they deal with inquiries into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at a North-East detention centre.

David Cameron was responding to North West Durham MP Pat Glass during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (February 5), as she highlighted one of the largest investigations of its kind centred on Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett.

Mrs Glass’ intervention comes as police revealed 375 new victims had come forward since a new investigation was launched last August, into claims of abuse at the Home Office-run centre between the late 1960s and mid 1980s.

Mrs Glass said: “The Prime Minister will be aware of the investigation in the systematic beating, abuse and rape of young men and boys at the former Medomsley Detention Centre in my constituency.

“The victim toll has now topped 300 and this is the biggest investigation ever undertaken by Durham Constabulary – a relatively small police force.

“Will the Prime Minister commit that if it proves necessary, his home secretary will meet with the police and crime commissioner, the chief constable and myself to ensure that the highly successful team has the resources it needs to see this investigation to its conclusion?

“The victim’s deserve no less.”

Mr Cameron replied: “I am very happy to give the Honorable Lady that assurance, because I don’t support the police merger ideas of the past.

“I think some of our smaller police forces are hugely capable, but when they are doing very complex and large investigations like this on occasion they do need help and support - so we should make sure that is available.”

An earlier investigation led to a former catering officer at the centre, Neville Husband being jailed in 2003 for abusing a number of young men over a period of time. He died in 2010, following his release from prison.
Up to last Monday (January 27) police had spoken to 143 people, the vast majority of whom were victims who had not previously come forward.

The total also included a small number of possible witnesses or callers who had information which might help the police inquiries.

Coverage in The Northern Echo and a BBC1 documentary has since prompted a further 232 calls to police, bringing the total number of victims to 375.

A police spokesman said: "All those who have rung over the last ten days will be seen by an officer over the coming weeks and steered towards the appropriate support and counselling."

Prime Ministers Question Time
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Detectives receive 200 calls as they probe sex abuse scandal at Medomsley borstal


More than 200 people have contacted police claiming to be the victims of horrific sexual abuse at the former Medomsley Detention Centre

Superintendent Paul Goundry who is leading the investigation

More than 200 people have contacted detectives claiming to be the victims of a predatory sex gang who targeted victims at a North East borstal.

Durham Police launched a new ­investigation into the Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, last year after fresh allegations inmates were being ferried off the grounds and sexually abused between the late 1960’s and the mid-1980’s.

It’s thought the scandal is one of the worst cases of mass scale sexual abuse at a government-run institution seen in this country, prompting the force to assign 80 detectives and the full resources of its Major Crimes Team to investigate the claims.

Senior prison officer Neville Husband was convicted of sex abuse offences in 2003. He died in 2010 following his release from prison.

Now detectives have confirmed that 232 calls were made to police by victims claiming to be the subject of sexual abuse at the centre, bringing the total to 375.

Det Supt Paul Goundy said: “Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before. The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us. That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.”

He added: “I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally.”

Source

MP plans to raise abuse claims at Medomsley Detention Centre during Prime Minister's Questions


The Northern Echo: MP plans to raise abuse claims at Medomsley Detention Centre during Prime Minister's Questions  
MP plans to raise abuse claims at Medomsley Detention Centre during Prime Minister's Questions
 
AN MP plans to raise the inquiry into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at North-East detention centre during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (Wednesday, February 5).

North West Durham MP Pat Glass said she wished to seek assurances from David Cameron that the Home Office would step in and support Durham Police should a major incident take place as it carries out inquiries, centred on Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, County Durham.

Mrs Glass’ intervention comes as police revealed they had been contacted by 300 people in what has become the biggest investigation of its kind the force has had to deal with.

The claims from victims living throughout the country follow after Durham Police’s announcement in August that it was launching a new investigation into claims that inmates were abused during the late 1970s to 1980s.

Prison officer Neville Husband was jailed in 2003 for committing sex attacks on youngsters. His friend, Leslie Johnson, a store man at the centre, was also jailed. They have since died.

Mrs Glass told The Northern Echo said: “At Prime Minister’s Questions I intend to ask about this, because although Durham Police are coping well, it is the biggest inquiry they have ever had.

“If we had to get another serious incident or a murder a small force like Durham will be under real pressure.

“So I am wanting to know that should that happen then the Home Office will step in and support the police.”

She added: “Durham Police are quite determined that - because they have had more than 300 people come forward now - that every single person who comes forward will be listened to by a member or the team very quickly – within five days – and their complaint is acted on.

“They understand the seriousness of this and that if you don’t do these things properly they just come back for years and years.

“I want to make sure that if necessary we have the resources to back this up.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendend Paul Goundry said: "Last week I had a meeting with both Mrs Glass and the Police and Crime Commissioner, Ron Hogg, where I outlined the state of the investigation and explained the background.

“They were both fully supportive and understood the key element is for us to focused on the needs of the victims.

"We have now been contacted in total by over 300 people, the vast majority of whom are victims who had not previously come forward.

“All will be seen by a specialist detective who can advise them on the professional help and support which is available."
Source

Dozens of Sunderland victims report abuse at Durham’s Medomsley Detention Centre

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DOZENS of Wearside victims have contacted police investigating abuse at the former Medomsley Detention Centre.

The Echo understands at least two dozen former inmates, from or currently living in Sunderland, Washington and Houghton, have been in touch with detectives.

In August last year Durham police announced it was opening a new investigation into allegations inmates at the Home Office-run centre were either sexually or physically abused during their time at Medomsley, between the late 1960’s and the mid-1980’s.

An earlier investigation led to a former catering officer at the centre, Neville Husband, being jailed in 2003 for abusing a number of young men over a period of time. He died in 2010, following his release from prison.

The detention centre housed young men from across the region and Scotland, including many from Wearside.
It is thought there may be more victims from the city who have yet to come forward.

Media coverage of the investigation has recently prompted a further 232 calls to police, bringing the total to 375.

All those who have rung over the last 10 days will be seen by an officer over the coming weeks and steered towards the appropriate support and counselling.

Up to last Monday, police had spoken to 143 people, the vast majority of whom were victims who had not previously come forward. The total also included a small number of possible witnesses or callers who had information which might help the police enquiries.

Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry, the senior investigating officer on the case, said: “Our aims all along have been to gain a clearer picture of what happened at Medomsley, obtain evidence which may lead to a criminal prosecution and, most importantly, to leave the victims in a better place than they were before.

“The recent coverage in the media has brought forward another 230 people who might not otherwise have contacted us. That suggests these victims have a level of confidence in us and feel we can help and support them.

“As our inquiries continue we are constantly learning, not only from the victims but all the agencies we are working alongside such as the NSPCC and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre at The Meadows. I think at the end of this investigation we will have some very important learning points to take on board, not just for ourselves but for the police nationally.”

•Are you one of the victims of Medomsley Detention Centre? Contact the Echo on 501 7146.

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