Saturday 17 August 2013

Detention Centre Paedo Inquiry

Senior officers have launched a major inquiry into the horrific sex abuse after complaints were ignored or dropped

Victim: John McCabe suffered horrific abuse

Victim: John McCabe suffered horrific abuse
Stuart Nicol
Claims a ring of violent paedophile prison officers routinely raped hundreds of teenage boys in a borstal are finally being investigated – after an alleged police cover-up.
Senior officers have launched a major inquiry into the horrific sex abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, County Durham, after complaints were ignored by police or dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
One brave victim, who has waived his right to anonymity, said: “I was raped every single day.”
John McCabe was abused, aged 17, for six months by prison officer Neville Husband.
He said: “I was asked to work in the kitchens. That’s where I met him.
"He told me if I didn’t do what he wanted he’d kill me and nobody would care.
“I thought I was the only boy he abused. Now I know there were more. A lot more. And it wasn’t just him.”
John, of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, added: “I’m fighting for justice for those boys, for myself.
"Too many people have got away with this for far too long.”
Police fear hundreds of young men were assaulted while serving sentences at Medomsley in the 70s and 80s.
Husband was jailed for 12 years at Newcastle crown court for mass rape of boys in his care.
Storeman Lesley Johnson was jailed for six years. Both men are now dead.
Victims say the 2003 probe into Husband did not go far enough and that he was part of a ring of officers involved in systematic abuse.
At least four other prison officers were involved, along with individuals outside the centre, police suspect.
And a police officer is believed to have covered up allegations after one victim walked into Consett Police Station in 1977 to make a statement about abuse.
His claims were ignored and the paperwork for his statement has been destroyed.
The missed chance meant the ring could continue to abuse inmates for years.

Paedophile Neville Husband
Monster: Prison officer Neville Husband
North News & Pictures
John contacted Durham Police in 2009 – after his attacker was released from jail – to say he was also a victim.
But after a police investigation the Crown Prosecution Service took no further action against Husband, saying it was not in the public interest.
John said: “I was devastated.”
But after he contacted his MP police have now opened up the probe.
Det Supt Paul Goundry, in charge of Durham Police child protection, said: “Every avenue will be explored and we’ll do our utmost to bring perpetrators to justice.
"If there were officers who ignored evidence about a paedophile ring at Medomsley then they will be traced and investigated too.”
Some alleged victims have told police they were taken off-site on the pretence of extra curricular activities.
They claim they were dragged into a private room where they were ­blindfolded and raped by their captors.
And it is alleged that at times there were up to five men present.
Police are now hunting what they believe was a large group of sexual predators who preyed on the vulnerable young men at the prison for nearly 15 years. And John is giving his full backing to police.
He said: “After meeting the authorities I’m completely confident they will carry out a full investigation into what happened at Medomsley because they are now convinced Husband and Johnson were not acting alone.
"They are now taking seriously the claims that rapes and other abuse took place in a number of locations, which until now had not been identified.
“I would urge any former victims to come forward and help police build a case against those evil savages who did this. Please don’t suffer in silence.”
John explained how, if it was not for his MP in Scotland, the case may never have been examined.
He said: “I was really down and my last hope for justice was to approach my local MP, Michael McCann, who’d been a classmate back in East Kilbride.
“Thankfully Michael gave me his full support and with his help I went to the police again. After he campaigned, the case was re-opened.”
Michael, a senior Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, said: “John and I want to support the Durham Police investigation and call upon anyone who has knowledge of the abuse that took place either inside or outside Medomsley Detention Centre to come forward and tell their story.
“We both know young men attempted to report abuse 30 years ago but were let down by the authorities.
“That will not happen this time and I hope that John McCabe’s bravery in revealing his story will encourage others to come forward.
"Young men like John were detained by the State and then they were abused by agents of the State and others inside and outside Medomsley.
“Only Neville Husband and Lesley Johnson were convicted. The others, and there were others, are still at liberty.
“They must be caught, prosecuted and send to jail for their heinous crimes.”
There are thought to be around 26 victims who have come forward.
Some have been awarded damages by the Ministry of Justice after a civil trial and a case is being pursued in John’s name.
When the Medomsley victims sought compensation after Husband’s conviction, the Home Office used the statute of limitations to avoid payment.
Eventually in 2009 it paid out £512,000 to 12 men, but there are still cases which are waiting to be settled.
But the victims of Medomsley have never received an apology.
When Stephen Byers, then MP for some of the victims, wrote to then Justice Minister, Jack Straw, in 2010, Mr Straw replied: “The terms of the agreement did not include an apology.”
Det Supt Goundry appealed for more victims to speak out.
He said: “What we need now is people to come forward. Anyone who knows anything about what went on at Medomsley.
“You’ll be dealt with sensitively by a trained professional.”
“We believe other victims, for whatever reason, have never come forward.
"It is those people we are now asking to contact us and pass on any information about what took place during their time at Medomsley, at the centre or off-site.
“John has shown great bravery in giving up his right to anonymity and talking about the abuse he suffered.
“I hope he will encourage others to come forward.”
Anyone with information should contact Durham Constabulary on 101.

Evil officer’s threat to kill if I said, ‘No’

Borstal rape victim John McCabe ended up in Medomsley Detention Centre in 1983 after snatching two rings from a pawn shop in Scarborough.
It was during his nine-month sentence he met prison officer Neville Husband who chose John to work with him in the kitchens. Now married with three children, health and safety officer John said: “A few days in, he rubbed himself up against me and I pulled away.”
The next day, Husband cornered the 17-year-old boy and held a knife to his throat. John added: “He said if I refused him again, it would be easy to take me out of the centre and kill me, or for me to be found hanged in my cell.”
The first rape happened a few days later.
“He got me alone in the kitchen and grabbed me by the throat,” said John. “I was passing out and he groped me. He was just too big and too strong to fight off.”
The abuse continued both in jail and off the premises – sometimes with another man present. A man who has never been brought to justice.
John was so depressed he stopped writing to his mum who became worried and called the prison. But evil Husband made John phone and reassure her.
Six months into his sentence, a change in the law meant time served on remand was taken into account and John was released.
He said: “I was terrified – convinced Husband would stop me getting out. A guard said he was taking me to the train station.
“I broke a glass to use as a weapon if he turned up. I paced up and down carriages all the way to Glasgow, expecting to find him.”
John tried to block the abuse from his mind – until one day in 2009 when he saw a news report that Husband had been released from prison.
That is when he went to police to report the rapes.


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