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Eastwood Park Detention Centre: former officer sentenced

By Caroline Chandler

Published In: Child Abuse

Former Eastwood Park Detention Centre Officer, Patrick Devaney was sentenced on Friday (15 September ) at Bristol Crown Court to three and a half years imprisonment. 

Devaney, 81, was convicted of misconduct in a public office in March 2023, after a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Young boy leaning on a fence

Friday’s sentencing was welcome news to the many victims that he repeatedly assaulted in the 70’s and 80’s, when he worked as a prison guard at the boys’ juvenile detention centre.

Many of his victims, some of which were as young as 14 at the time, were in court to see him sentenced and to read their victim impact statements.

Sentencing had been delayed due to Devaney’s failure to attend his previous sentencing hearing on 11 August, due to poor health.

The Judge, HHJ Burgess said in his sentencing of Devaney: “You were a cruel man who took sadistic pleasure in routinely abusing children you were responsible for. All your victims were severely adversely affected by your behaviour and each bears the emotional scars of what you did. You are not prepared to give the victims the respect they deserve and are entitled to. You have not acknowledged they have told the truth. You have not expressed remorse. The way you assaulted children included a strong element of taunting and torture.”

It is anticipated that a compensation scheme will be established by the Ministry of Justice to compensate those boys who were abused by Devaney, and potentially other officers, at Eastwood Park. The compensation scheme should not be delayed as a result of the sentence hearing being postponed.

Our specialist Child Abuse team has extensive experience of supporting survivors and obtaining compensation for those abused at detention centres. If you would like to discuss the possibility of making a claim in relation to your treatment at Eastwood Park or any other detention centre, please call 0800 138 0458 or email help@switalskis.com

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Caroline has worked in the legal sector for 23 years. She is a Solicitor in our Child Abuse Compensation department.

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