Over 1,000 Men Report Sexual And Physical Abuse At Medomsley Detention Centre

Durham Police Investigating Allegations


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

More than 1,000 men have come forward to report sexual or physical abuse at Medomsley, a youth detention centre, during the 1970s and 1980s.

Durham Police Force is investigating the allegations as part of Operation Seabrook and is attempting to contact staff who worked at the facility.

The inquiry into the alleged abuse suffered by boys at the County Durham facility, which was run by the Ministry of Justice, was prompted by the jailing of two ex-staff members for sexual offences against young boys in 2003 and 2005.

The conclusion of the criminal trials encouraged survivors to come forward with allegations of sexual and physical abuse.

DS Paul Goundry, leading the inquiry, said: “Our initial priority was to gain a full understanding of how Medomsley detention centre operated during that time.

“Many of those who have contacted us had never revealed to anyone else what had happened to them at Medomsley all those years ago.”

Emma Crowther, a specialist abuse lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office, representing a number of men who were detained at the facility in the 70s and 80s, said:  

Expert Opinion
It is clear that the top priority in this case should be to provide those alleging they were physically and sexually abused at Medomsley the professional support and help they need.

“It can be very traumatic to relive these experiences and those who have come forward have been extremely brave.

“In our work with some of the men who were detained at Medomsley in the 1970s and 80s we understand how much of an impact abuse can have, not only physically, but psychologically.

“We would call on the government to ensure survivors of abuse at the facility, and those who have come forward recently with additional allegations, are provided with the answers they deserve as to why they suffered at the hands of some members of staff and how the abuse was allowed to continue.
Emma Crowther, Solicitor