Friday, 5 January 2018

Hundreds of boys ‘tortured’ at youth detention centres in 1970s and 1980s

A whole bunch of boys say they had been subjected to sexual and bodily abuse amounting to “torture” in youth detention centres, sparking requires a public inquiry.

A lawyer representing the alleged victims mentioned they’d been raped, overwhelmed, sexually assaulted and compelled to carry out oral intercourse in the course of the 1970s and 1980s.

David Greenwood, the pinnacle of kid abuse at Switalskis Solicitors, mentioned he was already representing greater than 400 males and being “approached consistently” by new claimants.

“Shoppers I’ve spoken to have mentioned it was like torture – they had been locked up and couldn’t get away,” he instructed The Impartial.

“Most of them say it made them anti-authority, they felt as if they couldn’t belief individuals.

“For boys in for stealing to be subjected to this indiscriminate violence was a shock, and I say it was illegal.

“It made boys who had clearly finished incorrect in some respect into boys who had been worse, and ended up in violence.”

Former inmates at Eastwood Park Detention Centre in Gloucestershire have instructed Mr Greenwood they had been punched if they didn’t reply officer’s responses with “Sir”.

Others described being recurrently hit “for the slightest misdemeanour”, whipped with rubber pipes, pressured to carry out excessive train, have chilly showers and made to crouch in stress positions with out chairs.

The abuse got here throughout a coverage launched by the Thatcher authorities known as Quick Sharp Shock for younger offender

Noel Smith, who was imprisoned in a detention centre aged 15 after stealing a motorcycle, mentioned his three-month ordeal in 1976 drove his descent into extra critical offences together with financial institution theft.

The 57-year-old recalled being punched to the ground by one officer whereas nonetheless at court docket, then smacked on the opposite aspect of his head by one other, even earlier than being taken to the establishment.

“After we arrived we needed to run the gauntlet previous the screws,” he added. “We had been kicked, punched and had our ears pulled. Somebody poked their finger in my eye.

“As soon as we had been inside, we had been stripped and stood within the reception bare whereas everyone went about their enterprise round us and workers made disparaging remarks. It frightened the life out of us.”

Mr Smith mentioned there have been “beatings from begin to end” of his imprisonment, seeing guards drag inmates out of their chairs by their sideburns and seize them by the scrotum whereas smiling.

Now an writer and commissioning editor of Inside Time prisoners’ newspaper, Mr Smith mentioned: “It made me bitter and twisted, it was one humiliation after one other.

”It turned us into hardened criminals. I went in for stealing a motorcycle and 6 months later I used to be showing in court docket for armed theft and possession of firearms…frequent sense ought to have instructed you then that brutalising children would have an antagonistic impact.”

Police are already investigating allegations regarding Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham and Kirklevington Detention Centre in North Yorkshire, the place over 400 victims have already come ahead.

However Mr Greenwood mentioned the size of abuse is “most undoubtedly wider”.

“It was an institutional drawback that appeared to have been going down in any respect these detention centres at the moment,” he added.

Among the alleged abuse has been attributed to insurance policies introduced in by Margaret Thatcher’s authorities, together with House Secretary Willie Whitelaw’s Quick Sharp Shock initiative.

It noticed younger offenders detained in safe items and subjected to quasi-military self-discipline, regardless of the very fact there was no proof it might deter them from reoffending.

“There’s a frequent sample of random beating and being put into stress positions as a part of the Quick Sharp Shock programme between the mid-1970s and 80s,” Mr Greenwood mentioned.

“The thought was maybe taken too far, maybe the coaching they got was taken past the realm of legality. We’d like an inquiry to work out who was authorising such a behaviour.”

Professor David Wilson, a criminologist who was governor of a progressive younger offenders’ establishment within the 1980s, mentioned detention centres had been run to intentionally put inmates underneath psychological and bodily stress.

“That line between placing somebody underneath stress and easily brutalising them appeared to by no means be clearly sufficient drawn,” he added.

“The Quick Sharp Shock was clearly going to be interpreted by some members of workers in ways in which would result in abuse.”

Victims are calling for a brand new public inquiry to be opened into the therapy of younger male convicts in any respect detention centres in Britain.

HM Jail and Probation Service (HMPPS) claimed the allegations can be coated by the continuing Impartial Inquiry into Youngster Sexual Abuse however critics argue its remit isn’t broad sufficient to completely handle the brand new allegations.

Mr Greenwood argued IICSA doesn’t particularly handle bodily abuse and its scope can be restricted by ongoing legal proceedings, including: “We’re hoping that the House Secretary will have a look at this once more and take into consideration a correct public inquiry.”

A HMPPS spokesperson mentioned: “There’s already an inquiry trying into these allegations, which is a part of the IICSA.

“The allegations of abuse by former members of workers at Medomsley Detention Centre are topic to an ongoing police investigation, due to this fact it might be inappropriate to remark additional.”

In case you skilled abuse in youth detention centres and want to talk about your expertise anonymously, please contact


Seven summonsed over detention centre `abuse´ with…

Seven summonsed over detention centre `abuse´ with others under investigation
The detective leading one of the country’s biggest inquiries into historical sexual and physical abuse was “very confident” more former staff members of a detention centre will be prosecuted for allegedly preying on teenage inmates.

Seven ex-employees of Medomsley Detention Centre in Consett, County Durham, have been summonsed to appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court next month.

The men aged in their 60s and 70s will face charges of misconduct in a public office and physical abuse when they appear on December 19.

Four of them will also face sexual abuse charges.
Since Durham Police launched Operation Seabrook four years ago, 1480 ex-inmates have spoken to detectives and said physical or sexual abuse happened at Medomsley, with allegations dating from the 1960s to its closure in 1988.

Teenage inmates at the young offenders’ centre typically spent six to eight weeks at the Home Office-run facility before being released.

These days such offending would typically be dealt with by community punishment.

Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, leading the investigation, said: “There are more suspects that we are investigating and as the weight of evidence develops and our identification improves of those individuals, I am very confident that more people will face prosecution in the future, though next year.”

He said the “long and complex” investigation was one of the biggest of its kind in the country.
Durham Police said Christopher Onslow, 71, John McGee, 73, Brian Johnson Greenwell, 70, and Neil Sowerby, 61, will face charges of misconduct in a public office, physical abuse and sexual offences.

The force said David McClure, 62, Alan Bramley, 69, and Kevin Blakely, 65, will face misconduct and physical abuse charges only.


County Durham Police charge 7 over detention centre abuse

Police charge seven suspects over sexual and physical abuse at youth detention centre where 1,500 say they were attacked in the 1970s and 1980s

Seven men have today been charged with historic abuse of young inmates at a County Durham detention centre – and more could follow, police said today. 

More than 1,480 former residents have come forward to report they were physically or sexually abused by staff at Medomsley in the 1970s and 1980s.

Today County Durham Police charged seven former staff with a number of offences including corruption, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

The group, who are all men aged between 61 and 71, will appear in court next month.
They are Christopher Onslow, 71, Brian Johnson Greenwell, 70, Alan Bramley, 69, John McGee, 73, Kevin Blakely, 65, David McClure, 62, and Neil Sowerby, 61. They are all former members of staff at Medomsley.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, said: ‘Today‘s announcement marks a significant step forward in what has been, and continues to be, a long and complex investigation.

‘Enquiries do not stop here – the Operation Seabrook team and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) remain committed in continuing to move the investigation forward.

‘In February this year, we submitted 32 files to the CPS for charging decisions. A number of people are still under investigation so we do not rule out further charges in the future.

‘I would like to reassure victims and survivors that they are at the heart of everything we do. 

Professional support has been offered to anyone who needs help‘. 

John McCabe revealed earlier this year was attacked by members of a gang he said raped him ‘every single day‘ at Medomsley.

Police re-launched their investigation called Operation Seabrook four years ago after complaints were ignored, amid claims many boys were systematically abused by ‘agents of the state‘ in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Two prison officers were jailed after a 2003 investigation, Lesley Johnson for six years and warden Neville Husband for 12 years. It was Husband who abused Mr McCabe. Both are now dead. 

Police have been accused of botching previous investigations and in one case a victim allegedly spoke to police about being abused in the 1970s and was told to ‘f*** off‘ or he‘d be sent back to prison.

Mr McCabe, who suffered six months of attacks and has waived his right to anonymity to tell his story, told the Daily Mirror: ‘I was asked to work in the kitchens. That‘s where I met him (Husband). 

He told me if I didn‘t do what he wanted he‘d kill me and nobody would care.

‘I thought I was the only boy he abused. Now I know there were more. A lot more. And it wasn‘t just him.

‘I‘m fighting for justice for those boys, for myself. Too many people have got away with this for far too long.‘

Anyone who believes they are a victim and has not already ed the police should call Durham Police on 101 or