Seven men to stand trial over alleged abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre but eleven more to face no action

Seven former prison officers who have been charged with abusing young men at a former North East detention centre will go on trial over the next few months.

Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 3:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st August 2018, 3:53 pm
Kevin Blakely

Police have confirmed 11 further men who were under investigation following allegations of abuse at the Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, are to face no further action.

The men were being investigated as part of Operation Seabrook – Durham Constabulary’s long-running investigation into allegations of abuse at the centre.

David McClure

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After an extensive police investigation, and after consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the 11 will face no further action as, due to the evidence available, there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

A further six men will remain under investigation for physical and sexual abuse offences. They are all former prison officers.

Christopher Onslow, 72, denies charges of misconduct in a public office, physical abuse and sexual offences. His trial will be held in September.

John McGee, 74, Brian Johnson Greenwell, 71, and Neil Sowerby, 61, also deny charges of misconduct in a public office, physical abuse and sexual offences. They will go on trial in November.

John McGee

David McClure, 62, Alan Bramley, 69, and Kevin Blakely, 66, face charges of misconduct in public office and physical abuse only. They have all denied the charges and will appear at court in January for trial.

Operation Seabrook was launched in August 2013 and is one of the largest investigations of its kind in the UK.

So far, more than 1,630 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: "Operation Seabrook has now entered its sixth year. It continues to be a long and complex investigation and one which we, and the CPS, remain committed in moving forward.

Christopher Onslow

"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]"

Neil Sowerby
Brian Johnson Greenwell
Alan Bramley