Fifty years after allegedly suffering horrific punishment at a teenage detention centre, a Teesside pensioner is giving up on his fight for justice.
Rod Jones, well known for his mercy missions to help children in Romania, is one of thousands of former inmates who have given evidence to police investigations of historic abuse at the centres.
The 69-year-old was an inmate of Medomsley, in County Durham, when he was 17, and tells of the brutal punishment he claims he suffered for “getting into a fight” with one of the guards.
“They threw me in a laundry basket and strapped it shut,” he said.
“Then they tipped me over and over the quarter of a mile to the shower block where they put a hose in the basket.
“I could feel myself drowning. It was like water-boarding.
“I lost consciousness and the next thing I knew I was tipped out onto the floor of my cell.”
Rod, who has run the charity Convoy Aid International for 26 years, claims he also suffered “beating after beating” at the centre.
“Once they even threw a rope into my cell and told me if I didn’t hang myself they would do it for me.”
In desperation to escape the centre Rod, from Middlesbrough , says he admitted to more than 100 offences he never committed.
“But it got me to Borstal,” he said.
The investigation into assaults on inmates at Medomsley, near Consett, is now the biggest child abuse inquiry in the UK.
And the staggering 1,351 men who have reported being physically or sexually assaulted while at the reform centre make up half of all alleged victims in the country, it has been revealed.
“I’ve never got over it, but I’ve had enough now,” Rod told The Gazette.
“They’ve taken years and years over this investigation and I honesty believe they are going to knock it about until we’re all too old.
“The majority of prison officers who did this are now probably dead or are in their 80s and 90s. I don’t think any of them will ever see the inside of a court room.
“I think the whole investigation is a waste of time.”
Rod says he is now dropping a legal claim and withdrawing from the police inquiry.
He believes the only justice he and the other victims can ever hope to achieve is “for the Home Office to admit it happened and say ‘We’re sorry’.
“But we’ll never get that.”
As reported, almost 250 former inmates of HMP Kirklevington Grange have also come forward with allegations of abuse spanning four decades when it operated as a youth detention centre.
The allegations span from the 1960s up until the 1990s and two men were arrested as part of the investigations.
However, both have since been released without charge.