Claims Against Medomsley Deten...

Claims Against Medomsley Detention Centre

What is Medomsley Detention Centre?

Medomsley was a detention centre in Consett, County Durham, which housed young men between 16 and 20 years of age. It was designed to provide a ‘short, sharp, shock’ treatment to young offenders to prevent them being sent to prison.

What is Operation Seabrook?

In August 2013, Durham Constabulary launched a criminal investigation in to claims of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by staff against inmates at Medomsley Detention Centre in County Durham. This investigation, named “Operation Seabrook”, investigated incidents which happened mainly over the 1970s and 1980s, before the centre closed in 1988.

So far, 1,793 men have come forward to the police to report allegations of physical and sexual abuse during their stay at Medomsley.

The investigation is now one of the UK’s largest investigations of its kind.

Operation Seabrook involved a team of 70 detectives interviewing 32 former wardens, leaving seven facing court in a series of three trials at Teesside Crown Court. Five of the seven have been convicted, three have been sentenced.

Officers Convicted:

Christopher Onslow was in charge of physical training between 1975 and 1985. The court found him guilty of the following:

  •         Three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH)
  •         One count of inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH)
  •         One count of wounding with intent to cause GBH
  •         Two counts of misconduct in a public office

Onslow received a sentence of 8 and a half years. He has also submitted an appeal against his conviction.

John McGee worked at Medomsley from 1975 until 1982. Teesside Crown Court found him guilty of the following:

  •         One count of assault occasioning ABH
  •         One count of misconduct in a public office

McGee received a sentence of 2 years and 10 months. He has also launched an appeal against his conviction.

Kevin Blakely was posted to Medomsley in 1974 until 1983. The court found him guilty of two counts of misconduct in a public office, and he received a sentence of 2 years and 9 months.

Furthermore, two other officers on trial, Brian Greenwell and Alan Bramley, were both found guilty of one count of misconduct in a public office. They are yet to be sentenced.

The court cleared Neil Sowerby and David McClure of all charges.

How can Watson Woodhouse help?

Here at Watson Woodhouse Solicitors, we have a leading Civil Litigation team who want to help victims of this abuse seek justice.

We understand the issues and trauma that survivors have had to deal with. Therefore we aim to ensure the process runs as stress free and smoothly as possible. We deal with all enquiries in a sensitive and confidential manner. Furthermore, we have both male and female solicitors available to provide advice and assistance on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis.

Why use a solicitor?

  • The process can be complex and requires a solicitor.
  • A solicitor will be able to represent you in court so that you won’t have to be there.
  • They will be able to communicate with all involved parties.
  • A solicitor will ensure your case is completely confidential.

Why Watson Woodhouse?

  • We offer a no obligation, free initial consultation with flexible appointments to suit your needs.
  • Our specialist solicitors have a vast amount of experience in successfully claiming compensation for abuse victims.
  • We will ensure we treat your case with the sensitivity it deserves.
  • We will seek to progress your claim quickly with as little distress as possible for you.
  • We will treat your case with the utmost confidentiality.
  • We will not deduct any success fee from your award, to ensure  you retain 100% of your damages awarded



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