MORE than 600 inmates of a former detention centre at the heart of a major police inquiry have come forward claiming they were victims of abuse.
Dozens of Wearsiders are among those who have contacted officers investigating the former Medomsley Detention Centre.
Police are continuing to take calls from those who claim they were physically or sexually abused by staff members between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s
Last August Durham police announced it was opening a new investigation into allegations inmates at the Home Office-run centre were either sexually or physically abused at Medomsley.
An earlier investigation led to a former catering officer at the centre, Neville Husband, being jailed in 2003 for abusing a number of young men over a period of time. He died in 2010, after his release from prison. The detention centre housed young men from across the region and Scotland, including many from Wearside.
Several ex-inmates from the city have contacted the Echo to say they were attacked during their time at the centre.
Earlier this year, the Echo revealed claims from Ian Farrer, of Castletown, Sunderland, who was 17 when he was sentenced to four months at the centre in February 1987 for handling stolen goods.
The 45-year-old claimed he was attacked by a prison warden in the centre’s exercise yard where he received “a massive blow to my kidneys”.
All those who have contacted the police regarding the investigation are being steered towards the appropriate support and counselling.