Medomsley Detention Centre

Medomsley Detention Centre – Key Questions

What is Medomsley Detention Centre?

Medomsley Detention Centre was a male youth detention centre in County Durham. Over 1000 men have come forward about physical and sexual abuse that took place in Medomsley predominantly in the 1970s and 1980s.

What is ‘Operation Seabrook’?

Operation Seabrook is the name for the ongoing criminal investigation into the abuse that happened in Medomsley. A task force at Durham Constabulary are looking into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse. The allegations are against members of staff that worked in Medomsley. The investigation started in 2013 and is investigating many allegations spanning several years but mainly in the 1970s and 1980s.

What to do if you suffered abuse in Medomsley

You should report the abuse to the police as soon as possible. Before giving a full statement to the police you should write down as many details as you can remember – dates, names and locations etc.

Contact a solicitor specialising in the field of child abuse to discuss whether you are able to pursue a claim. There is no need to wait until the outcome of the criminal investigation before getting some advice.

Making a claim for c0mpensation

If you were detained in Medomsley Detention Centre and suffered any abuse at the hands of the staff you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Ben Hoare Bell LLP is currently representing several hundreds of clients who suffered abuse whilst at Medomsley Detention Centre.

It may be possible to claim compensation from the Ministry of Justice who were responsible for running the detention centre or alternatively the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Is it too late to make a claim for compensation?

The question of whether you are ‘too late’ to claim compensation really depends on the facts of each individual case. Generally speaking the law only allows 3 years to pursue a claim for compensation for personal injury. The 3 year period starts from the date of the incident or in the case of a child their 18th birthday. The general 3 year limit can be extended by the Court in certain circumstances where it is just and equitable (i.e. fair) to do so.

The CICA has a 2 year limitation period within which applications must be made however they also have a general discretion to disapply that time limit where there is a good reason for the delay. For abuse which was reported to the police under the age of 18 the 2 years starts to run at the age of 18. For abuse suffered before the age of 18 and reported after the age of 18 the 2 year period begins to run from the date of the report.

The CICA have very strict criteria which they will consider before making any award of compensation. This includes for example whether or not you have criminal convictions which could reduce the amount of compensation you receive or bar you from getting compensation at all. Again a solicitor specialising in this field will be able to advise you about this.

What about other historic abuse?

Medomsley Detention Centre is not the only place to receive reports of historic physical and sexual abuse. There are other detention centres including Kirklevington Young Offenders Institute and children’s homes that have also been involved in historic abuse claims. It may be possible to make a claim against other places and you should contact a solicitor for more advice.

If you suffered abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, or suffered any other historic abuse please contact our specialist solicitors today: Richard Hardy or Andrew Freckleton on 0191 565 3112 or email advice@benhoarebell.co.uk

Medomsley Detention Centre – The updates 

January 2018:

  • 7 former officers of Medomsley Detention Centre appeared at Teesside Crown Court on 16 January 2018.
  • All the former officers are charged with misconduct in a public office and physical abuse with some officers also charged with sex offences.
  • None of the defendants entered pleas at court.
  • A further hearing is listed in June 2018 when it is anticipated pleas will be entered.
  • A trial date has been set for 3 September 2018. It is expected that the trial will last several months.

December 2017:

  • 7 former officers of Medomsley Detention Centre have appeared in court this week. They were charged with a number of offences including physical abuse and sexual abuse of former inmates.
  • Approximately 1400 men have claimed they were abused by officers whilst serving sentences at Medomsely in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • No pleas were entered at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court this week. Instead the former officers were bailed and will now appear at Teesside Crown Court on 16 January 2018.

August 2016:

  • It was hoped that by the middle of 2016 the CPS would have reached a decision as to whether any former officers of the detention centre would be charged with criminal offences.
  • Due to the complex nature of the case and scale of the investigation we do not expect a charging decision to be made for several more months and most likely not until next year.

July 2016:

  • On 25 July 2016 the trial started of former Church Minister George Granville Gibson at Durham Crown Court. He is accused of 8 charges of indecent assault against two men dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.
  • The charges against Gibson arose from Durham Constabulary’s Operation Seabrook. One of the charges against Gibson relates to an alleged indecent assault during a visit to an inmate at Medomsley.
  • Papers are still with the CPS and we are waiting for a decision as to whether any former members of staff will be prosecuted.
  • Over 1350 survivors of abuse at Medomsley have reported the abuse to Durham Constabulary.

February 2016:

  • As part of the ongoing criminal investigation into the abuse at Medomsley statements have been obtained from former inmates.
  • Several members of staff have also been identified and formally interviewed.
  • It is hoped by the middle of 2016 the CPS will have reached a decision as to whether any former officers of the detention centre will be charged with criminal offences.

December 2015:

  • On 27 November 2015 Hon Lowell Goddard announced details of the 12 initial investigations of the Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse set up by the Government.
  • One of the 12 initial investigations will look into Medomsley Detention Centre. This is separate to the ongoing criminal investigation being carried out by Durham Constabulary.
  • The Goddard Inquiry will conduct its own investigation into Medomsley. It has a budget of £17.9 million covering all 12 investigations in the first year.

July 2015:

  • As part of the police investigation 20 former members of staff have been formally interviewed about the abuse.
  • Files have now been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service who will assess the available evidence with a view to make a charging decision by early 2016.
  • It is anticipated that any trial would then take place towards Autumn 2016.

April 2015:

  • Durham Constabulary have now been contacted by over 1000 former inmates who report that they were physically and/or sexually abused by members of staff between the 1960s and 1980s.
  • Two former members of staff at Medomsley Detention Centre have been arrested by Durham Constabulary in relation to the abuse.
  • The police investigation continues with officers working to trace and interview at least a dozen more former members of staff.

February 2015:

  • Ben Hoare Bell Solicitors met with Chief Investigating Officer Paul Goundry who confirmed that Durham Constabulary have now been contacted by up to 1000 former inmates of Medomsley Detention Centre.
  • The operation is believed to be the largest ever investigation into child abuse in the UK.
  • Former officers are to be voluntarily questioned by the police.