Tyne & Wear

Medomsley Detention Centre abuse investigation reopens

The former Medomsley Detention Centre
Image caption The detention centre closed in the late 1980s

Police have reopened a 10-year-old investigation into sexual abuse at a former County Durham detention centre, which saw two staff jailed.

Church minister Neville Husband, who worked at Medomsley juvenile detention centre as a prison officer and store man Leslie Johnson were jailed in 2003.

The pair, both now dead, were convicted of sexually abusing inmates.

Durham Police has now reopened the investigation after a former inmate claimed he was also abused.

John McCabe, from East Kilbride in Scotland, who has waived his right to anonymity, said he was also a victim of Husband at the now-closed institution.

Mr McCabe said the abuse took place 30 years ago when Husband recruited him to work in the kitchen, and that he also took him out of Medomsley, where he was raped by another man.

'Vulnerable young people'

Durham detectives are now reinvestigating the claims and have appealed for any other abuse victims to come forward.

Det Supt Paul Goundry said: "The investigation will put victims at the heart of the inquiry, but at the same time we would like to hear from anyone who has new information about Medomsley and any abuse that occurred either inside, or when inmates were taken off-site.

"Those who carried out the abuse preyed on some very vulnerable young people and left many of them with mental scars which have lasted a lifetime.

Image caption Neville Husband was jailed for abusing male inmates in 2003

"While we contacted and took statements from a number of victims as part of this investigation, we believe there are others who for whatever reason have never come forward.

"It is those people we are now asking to contact us and pass on any information about what took place during their time at Medomsley, whether it happened at the centre or elsewhere."

Medomsley closed in the late 1980s after the abuse came to light and has since reopened as a secure training centre.

During his 2003 trial, Newcastle Crown Court heard Husband, who became a minister in the United Reformed Church after 27 years in the prison service, had used his position of authority to systematically abuse his victims between 1974 and 1984.

The male inmates, who were aged between 16 and 19 at the time, had been picked by Husband to work in the kitchens, where he would sometimes "blatantly" indecently assault them or take them away for abuse in secret.

He was jailed for 12 years. Johnson was sentenced to six years at a separate trial.

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