Thursday, 4 August 2016

Medomsley victim: We'll all be dead by the time the inquiry's finished

A VICTIM of brutal physical and sexual abuse at the Medomsley Detention Centre is withdrawing his police statement, saying he believes he will be dead before he gets closure.

Rod Jones, from Middlesbrough, says he is dropping a legal claim and withdrawing from the police inquiry because he feels it is being drawn out for too long, and said he believed most of the 1,351 victims would be dead by the time they received an apology, or any compensation.

The 69-year-old was an inmate of Medomsley, near Consett, aged 17, and believed he would end up dead as he underwent brutal assaults after hitting a guard in self-defence.

Mr Jones, who now runs a charity, Convoy Aid International, said guards threw a rope in his cell one night and told him that if he didn’t hang himself, they would do it the next morning. He was also nearly drowned.

In fear, he contacted the police in Middlesbrough and said he had committed over 130 burglaries – which wasn’t true – just so he could be moved away from Medomsley. Instead of spending another three months in the infamous centre he opted instead for three years in borstal.

Mr Jones said: “I get a letter updating me on the investigation every month and I just feel it drags it all up. What I underwent wasn’t just abuse, it was torture. This inquiry is taking too long. There’s no point coming to the cemetery and saying sorry, is there?”

Durham Police’s Det Supt Paul Goundry, senior investigating officer, said victims could opt out of the monthly letter.

He added: “From the outset we said this would be a lengthy and complex inquiry. While the investigative phase is now virtually complete, there is still a huge amount of work to do before the CPS can advise on any potential criminal charges.

We understand the frustration many victims must feel but all we can do is ask them to be patient while we continue to progress the investigation.” The Crown Prosecution Service are expected to decide later this year whether or not to bring criminal charges, in the country’s biggest investigation into historic sex abuse.