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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Seven summonsed over detention centre 'abuse' with others under investigation

Written by Tom Wilkinson

The detective leading one of the country's biggest inquiries into historical sexual and physical abuse was "very confident" more former staff members of a detention centre will be prosecuted for allegedly preying on teenage inmates.

Seven ex-employees of Medomsley Detention Centre in Consett, County Durham, have been summonsed to appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court next month.

The men aged in their 60s and 70s will face charges of misconduct in a public office and physical abuse when they appear on December 19.

Four of them will also face sexual abuse charges.

Since Durham Police launched Operation Seabrook four years ago, 1480 ex-inmates have spoken to detectives and said physical or sexual abuse happened at Medomsley, with allegations dating from the 1960s to its closure in 1988.

Teenage inmates at the young offenders' centre typically spent six to eight weeks at the Home Office-run facility before being released.

These days such offending would typically be dealt with by community punishment.

Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green (pictured), leading the investigation, said: "There are more suspects that we are investigating and as the weight of evidence develops and our identification improves of those individuals, I am very confident that more people will face prosecution in the future, though next year."

He said the "long and complex" investigation was one of the biggest of its kind in the country.

Durham Police said Christopher Onslow, 71, John McGee, 73, Brian Johnson Greenwell, 70, and Neil Sowerby, 61, will face charges of misconduct in a public office, physical abuse and sexual offences.

The force said David McClure, 62, Alan Bramley, 69, and Kevin Blakely, 65, will face misconduct and physical abuse charges only.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Tom Wilkinson / PA Wire.