Medomsley Detention Centre

Historic child abuse claims

For expert help with historic child abuse claims

Medomsley Detention Centre

Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham provided the so-called ‘short sharp shock’. It is the subject of a re-opened police investigation into the sexual abuse of young offenders in the 1980s, and recent publicity has brought the 2003 convictions of Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson (both of whom have since died) back into focus.

Detainees at Medomsley Detention Centre between 1967 and 1986 suffered horrendous physical mistreatment. Successive Governments wanted to give inmates a “short sharp shock” but the reality was much more harmful. The scale of sexual and physical assaults happening behind it’s locked doors amounted to torture.

In 2003 the chef at Medomsley, Neville Husband, was convicted of serious sexual assaults together with his colleague Leslie Johnson. A further investigation found more offending and in 2005 Husband pleaded guilty to more sexual assaults on boys.

During the course of our investigations Switalskis have uncovered a staggering number of allegations against Husband and that other members of staff and Police failed to uncover the full extent of abuse in the 2000s.

One man was so disgruntled with the lack of action by Durham Police that he and his MP successfully campaigned for a deeper police investigation and in 2013 Operation Seabrook was launched by Durham Constabulary. Over 2000 former trainees have made complaints. The investigation culminated with three trials in 2018 and 2019.  Five former prison officers were convicted; Christopher Onslow, John McGee, Alan Bramley, Kevin Blakeley and Brian Johnson Greenwell. They were jailed for a total of more than 18 years for abusing former trainees.

More recently former prison officer Alexander Flavell was charged with several offences, including misconduct in a public office, two charges of assault, two charges of indecent assault and another of buggery. He was convicted of Misconduct in a Public Office and one charge of indecent assault.

The Team at Switalskis have represented hundreds of former trainee’s secure compensation since the conviction of Husband and Johnson in 2003. The most serious of cases reaching five figure settlements.

The Ministry of justice still continue to compensate individuals who were mistreated at Medomsley Detention Centre whether sexually assaulted or physically assaulted.

A compensation scheme has been set up to compensate individuals who were physically assaulted. The compensation is based on the length of sentence.  A sentence of 3 months or less attracts an award of £1750.00 a sentence of more than 3 months attracts an award of £2500.00. If as a result of a physical assault, there has been long term harm (physical or mental) then the award can be higher.

The team at Switalskis continue to successfully pursue sexual assault cases through the Court.

Yet many men complain that the authorities knew about the mistreatment and covered it up. They wanted a public Inquiry into the missed opportunities of bringing Husband and others to justice earlier so in 2023 Switalskis took Judicial Review proceedings to force the Government to hold an Inquiry. The Government agreed to an Inquiry which will be carried out by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, an independent body tasked with looking into wrongdoing in the prison service.

If you would like confidential advice on any aspect of your treatment at Medomsley Detention Centre contact Caroline Chandler on 01924 882000 or  

If you suffered abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, and would like to talk to one of our specialist child abuse lawyers in confidence, call 01924 881 000.

Specialist lawyers for child abuse claims

How we can help you?

Navigating the legal maze of a child abuse claim can be tough, especially when you’re already dealing with emotional pain. That’s where we come in. At Switalskis, we’re not just experts in law we’re people who genuinely care about your wellbeing.

From the moment you reach out to us, you’ll find a caring and confidential environment. We know how hard it is to talk about abuse, and we’re here to listen without judgement. Our team is led by David Greenwood and they are highly skilled in handling both recent and historical abuse claims. We’ll explain all your options in simple terms, so you know exactly what steps are available.

We’ll help you gather all the necessary evidence to make your case as strong as possible. This could include medical records, witness statements or any other documents that could help. We’ll make sure you’re well-prepared and understand what’s happening at every stage.

Legal fees can be a worry, but we’re upfront about costs from the start. We’ll discuss our fee structure clearly, so there are no surprises later on.

 We’re not just here for the legal process. We understand the emotional toll a child abuse claim can take, and we’re here to offer emotional support as well. Once your case is resolved, our support doesn’t just stop. Whether you secure child abuse compensation or achieve another form of justice, we’ll guide you through the next steps and any further actions you may want to take. 

At Switalskis, we’re more than just child abuse solicitors we’re a team committed to helping you through one of the most challenging times of your life. We’re here to offer expert, compassionate support every step of the way.

Get in touch with us in confidence

We’re committed to providing expert, caring legal advice for child abuse claims, including the most serious historical abuse compensation and child sexual abuse cases. If you’re ready to take the next step, we’re here for a no obligation chat.


Feel free to get in touch with us by calling 0800 138 0458 or by contacting us through the website.

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Child abuse claims

Our legal specialists

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David GreenwoodDirector and Solicitor
Rob CaseyDirector and Solicitor Advocate
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Amy ClowreyDirector and Solicitor
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Carole SpencerAssociate Solicitor
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Samantha FollowsAssociate Solicitor
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