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Former prison officer Patrick Devaney convicted

By Caroline Chandler

Published In: Child Abuse

Patrick Devaney has spent the last five weeks on trial at Bristol Crown Court. The former PE Instructor at Eastwood Park was convicted of Misfeasance in a Public Office; Devaney denied all charges against him.

Patrick Devaney has been charged with the ill-treatment of young inmates at Eastwood Park in the 70’s and 80’s, with the charges including assault and misconduct in a public office.

Switalskis were contacted by many former inmates with complaints of physical, verbal and sexual abuse. This information was passed to Avon and Somerset police, which launched an investigation in 2018. His sentencing will take place on 14 April.

Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire was a detention centre for young boys aged between 14 and 17 years old. It was run by the Home Office; now the Ministry of Justice.

Eastwood Park was a detention centre like many others in the 1970’s and 80’s, where boys were subjected to “short, sharp shock” treatment. However, the treatment of young boys detained there, went far beyond a harsh regime . Intended to instil discipline in the boys, prison officers routinely and indiscriminately beat them and in some cases sexually assaulted them.

The complaints received about the boys’ treatment whilst detained at Eastwood Park, was often for very minor offences. The impact of the abuse however has been profound for many former detainees, with some having been unable to work or hold down relationships. Understandably, all feel angry and upset about what they endured during their time in detention and are seeking some form of justice.

Our work on these abuse compensation claims continues and we endeavour to get Inquiries and reviews into the treatment of the young boys that were held in detention.

Our solicitors, Caroline Chandler and David Greenwood have extensive experience of helping former detainees. If you have been affected by abuse received at Eastwood Park, or any other detention centre and would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors, please call 0800 138 4700 or email

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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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