HMP Kirklevington abuse case: Nearly 600 men contact police

Kirklevington Prison
Image caption Kirklevington was a detention centre before being converted to a resettlement prison for adult male offenders in 1992.

Nearly 600 men have contacted police to say they were abused as teenagers by staff at a detention centre.

The ex-inmates said they suffered physical and sexual abuse when they were at HMP Kirklevington, near Yarm, Teesside.

The allegations by 594 men date from the 1960s to the 1990s. In 2017 414 ex-inmates reported abuse to police.

Cleveland Police said it had now arrested or interviewed under caution 17 men who worked at the centre.

The men, aged between 50 and 90, have been released under investigation while inquires continue.

Kirklevington was converted to a resettlement prison for adult male offenders in 1992.

'Slammed against the wall'

Image caption David Rivers spent six weeks at the centre in 1977 and says he was punched a handful of times

David Rivers was sent to Kirklevington for six weeks in 1977 for vandalism.

He said he was punched a handful of times by the staff.

"Certain officers were taking joy in beating them and I mean properly beating them.

"It wasn't just a quick punch it would be three, four or five punches.

"It would be kicking them when they were on the floor. It would be picking them up by the hair and slamming them against the wall."

Cleveland Police said one of the former prison officers faced allegations of both physical and sexual abuse from 273 men.

He was interviewed a number of times but died before any charges could be brought.

Five years since the investigation into the former detention centre was launched, Cleveland Police said it was still receiving reports from men who say they were abused.

The force also said it was investigating other former staff who have not yet been questioned.

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