Former Eastwood Park Detention Centre Officer Patrick Devaney was due to be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday 11 August having previously been convicted of misfeasance in public office in March 2023.
Due to his failure to attend at court a warrant was issued for his arrest to ensure his attendance for sentencing which will now take place on 15 September 2023.
Devaney had previously denied all wrongdoing but a jury at Bristol Crown Court found him guilty of misconduct in public office. This was after the jury heard evidence that he had repeatedly assaulted boys aged between 14 and 17 years old who were in his care at the detention centre in South Gloucestershire where he worked from 1970 until 1983. Eastwood Park was a detention centre like many others in the 1970s and 80s where boys were subjected to a “short, sharp, shock” regime. The court heard however that Devaney assaulted a large number of boys in his care over a number of years.
Over 20 former detainees had given evidence at the four-week trial. The jury heard that boys were repeatedly punched and often forced to perform extreme exercise before being punished when they gave way to exhaustion. Devaney was a physical training instructor at Eastwood Park. It is expected that a large number of victim impact statements will be read at the sentencing hearing when it takes place.
The Judge was told that Devaney was too ill to appear at the hearing either in person or through a video link. The Judge decided that in order to ensure Devaney’s attendance at the next hearing a warrant for his arrest should be issued.
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 at Switalskis have extensive experience of seeking and obtaining compensation for those who were 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 1384 700 or email email@example.com