FORMER INMATES OF MEDOMSLEY DETENTION CENTRE URGED TO TAKE SWIFT ACTION ON HORRIFIC ABUSE ENDURED
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
McKeag and Co Solicitors is helping to settle claims for those who experienced physical and sexual abuse during their time at the centre
From 1960, Medomsley Detention Centre housed young men, aged between 17 and 21, who were detained for relatively minor offences, before closing in 1988.
Whilst there, inmates were subjected to a brutal regime of physical violence and sexual abuse; two notorious members of the Medomsley staff, Neville Husband and Lesley Johnson, were jailed for serious sexual offences in 2003 and 2005.
In 2013, Durham police reopened investigations into the historical abuse of young inmates in Medomsley, which became known as Operation Seabrook.
Over 1,800 former detainees gave evidence to the police detailing the physical and sexual abuse they had suffered at the hands of former prison officers.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Question Time, Laura Pidock, the then MP for North West Durham, said: “Medomsley Detention Centre in my constituency was a living hell for the boys and young men sent there from across the UK in the 70s and 80s. Rape and torture were commonplace.”
The culmination of Operation Seabrook led to the conviction of five further prison officers for physical abuse with a trial of two further officers pending.
Compensation for former affected inmates
As a consequence of the convictions in the wake of Operation Seabrook, a steering group of solicitors - who represent the majority of the victims - were able to establish a compensation scheme with lawyers representing the Ministry of Justice.
This scheme has created a quick and easy route to enable former inmates to obtain a financial award as a form of redress for their suffering.