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Wednesday, 4 September 2013
"Medomsley Heroes Still Fighting For Justice" Part 8
Fresh appeal in Medomsley Detention Centre sex abuse case brings forward new alleged victims
Less than two weeks after Durham Police reopened the case more than 40 people have contacted them in connection to the abuse scandal
Child abuser Neville Husband
Police investigating the historic allegations of “large scale” child abuse at a detention centre have been inundated with calls from alleged victims.
Less than two weeks after Durham officers reopened the decade-old case, more than 40 people have stepped up as alleged victims of sex abuse while detained at Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham.
While it is still too early in the investigation for new arrests, officers say they have had more than 40 people come forward after the appeal earlier this month.
The abuse scandal dates back to the 1970s and 80s when it’s alleged inmates at the centre for young offenders, many from the north of England, were subjected to abuse while there.
Previous police probes back in 2002 and 2005 led to two men being jailed for crimes at the centre.
Described as a “main perpetrator” prison officer Neville Husband, who became a church minister after leaving the prison service, was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing five inmates between 1974 and 1984 after pleading not guilty.
Two years later his sentence was increased to 10 years after new victims came forward and he admitted four more attacks.
Freed in 2009, Husband died the following year. Another member of staff at the detention centre, Leslie Johnson, who worked as a store man, was jailed for six years for abusing a boy. Johnson too died shortly after his release from jail.
Now, some years later, Durham Police has reopened the case after another alleged abuse victim has come forward with information about other people he says were carrying out the abuse.
Det Supt Paul Goundry, head of safeguarding for the force, said: “What happened at Medomsley was organised abuse on a large scale and we are committed to ensuring every victim feels they have had the opportunity to speak.”
“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. 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.”