Tyne & Wear

Medomsley detention centre abusers jailed

John McGee (left), Christopher Onslow (centre) and Kevin Blakely Image copyright PA
Image caption John McGee (l), Christopher Onslow (centre) and Kevin Blakely (r) have been jailed

Three former young offender detention centre officers have been jailed for their part in abusing inmates.

Hundreds of men came forward to police over their treatment at Medomsley in County Durham in the 1970s and 80s.

Former physical training officer Christopher Onslow, 73, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years at Teesside Crown Court after being found guilty of assault and wounding with intent.

Two other officers were also jailed and two are due to be sentenced.

John McGee, 75, was jailed for two years and eight months for assault and misconduct in a public office.

Kevin Blakely, 67, was jailed for two years and nine months for misconduct in a public office.

'Fear and violence'

Onslow and McGee have submitted appeals against their convictions.

Onslow was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) and wounding with intent to cause GBH.

He was also convicted of two counts of misconduct in a public office, which encompassed incidents in which he assaulted and abused prisoners in his charge.

Medomsley, which was built in 1960, housed young men aged from 17 to 21 who were detained for relatively minor crimes. It closed in 1988.

Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Christopher Onslow is appealing his conviction

During the men's trial, prosecutor Jamie Hill QC described "an atmosphere of fear and violence throughout the institution".

One former prisoner likened it to a concentration camp.

More than 1,675 men have reported allegations of either sexual or physical assaults while detained at Medomsley.

Durham Police has said its investigation, which has cost more than £1m so far, is ongoing.

Det Ch Supt Adrian Green said the former officers had caused "immeasurable suffering and lifelong damage to their victims".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites