Seven men due in court over Medomsley abuse inquiry

Seven men have been summonsed to court in relation to allegations into abuse of young men at a detention centre.
The former Medomsley Detention Centre.The former Medomsley Detention Centre.
The former Medomsley Detention Centre.

They are due to appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, December 19, to answer charges of misconduct in a public office and physical abuse offences linked to the former Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett.

Some will also answer sexual abuse charges.

The men are Christopher Onslow, 71, Brian Johnson Greenwell, 70, Alan Bramley, 69, John McGee, 73, Kevin Blakely, 65, David McClure, 62, and Neil Sowerby, 61.

They are all former members of staff at the centre.

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The investigation – named Operation Seabrook – was launched in August 2013 and is one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

So far, more than 1,480 men have contacted the Operation Seabrook team to report allegations of either sexual or physical assaults while detained at Medomsley from the 1960s to when the centre closed in 1988.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, said: “Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in what has been, and continues to be, a long and complex investigation.

“Inquiries do not stop here – the Operation Seabrook team and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) remain committed in continuing to move the investigation forward.

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“In February this year, we submitted 32 files to the CPS for charging decisions.

"A number of people are still under investigation so we do not rule out further charges in the future.

“I would like to reassure victims and survivors that they are at the heart of everything we do. Professional support has been offered to anyone who needs help.

“Anyone who believes they are a victim and has not already contacted the police should call us on 101 or email [email protected].”