Medomsley Detention Centre,

8h8 hours ago

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”


Monday, 12 October 2009

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. 

The laws and statutes of this land were written for all men with no
exception. It is not for our government or their agents to choose which
laws either do or do not apply to them and then walk away from the
culpability for their actions. Being a prison officer, police officer or
even high court judge does not put you above the law.

Would they allow a known sex offender to continue working for 27 years
within the youth penal system? Would they facilitate his transfers from
institution to institution while they knew that he was a danger to young
boys? I’m afraid the answer is yes; they would and they did allow just
that. ‘They’ are the Home Office and their employees.

Neville Husband, a married 67-year-old from Shotley Bridge, County
Durham, staged a string of sexual abuse offences at the Medomsley centre
in the 1970s and 1980s. After his career in the prison service, Husband
became a Clergyman of the United Reform Church. In February 2003,
Husband was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of abusing five
youngsters and was jailed for eight years. The publicity surrounding the
trial led to others coming forward, and in September 2005 he was jailed
for a further two years after admitting attacks on four more teenagers.
He is now a known and convicted paedophile who is currently serving out
his ten year prison sentence.

Husband himself worked for nearly 30 years as a prison officer and Home
Office employee. As with most employers, his employers wrote his
employment records, and right there on top of the pile of files is one
dating back to 1967. It says Neville Husband had been arrested for the
illegal importation of homosexual pornography directly into the prison.
When training with the prison service, Husband claimed he bought the
material for research purposes and was never charged. He was also
quizzed in 1999 – five years after he was ordained as a minister – in
connection with police operations probing mail order pornography. The
case was dropped. One of his many victims is now pursuing the right to
sue his employers for vicarious liability in a high profile sex abuse

Kevin Young, suffered at the hands of Husband, while he was serving a
short sentence at the Medomsley Detention Centre, Consett, Co Durham in
1977. Husband, who became a church minister after quitting the prison
service, was jailed after admitting a string of horrific sex attacks on
teenage boys. Between 1969 & 1984 Despite the Home Office’s attempt
to block the move, last year Mr Young won a landmark legal case to
launch a bid for compensation at a hearing in Leeds against the Home
Office, which ran the detention centre where Husband worked. The Home
Office tried to get the case thrown out, and their plea was that too
much time has passed since the crimes occurred. This has customarily
worked well as a defence for child abusers in the past, as the 1980
Limitation Act states claims for compensation need to be lodged three
years after attacks took place. But Mr Young’s legal team argued there
was provision for people to lodge claims three years after the “date of
knowledge”. Abuse victims may not realise how badly they have been
harmed until years after the attacks took place.

Although the 1980 Limitation Act does do a valuable job and performs its
function well in certain areas, it was never meant to be used or abused
in order to allow the high and mighty of this land to manipulate the
legal process in their own favour. The Judge (Judge Cockroft) at Leeds
Crown Court rejected the Home Office’s plea of limitation. Even so, the
Home Office has appealed against Judge Cockroft’s ruling, and tried to
block Kevin Young’s fight for justice.

Mr Young’s solicitor, David Greenwood, of Wakefield firm Jordan’s, said:
“This stalls the process until it’s heard in the Court of Appeal in
“They have already tried to have his case thrown out, but they weren’t successful. Now they are appealing against that decision.
“Hopefully, if Kevin is successful again, he will be able to go on and
prove that the Home Office neglected to care for him adequately and
allowed this abuser to sexually assault him.”

Neville Husband hand-picked boys to work with him in the kitchens before
brutally attacking them. One boy was forced to submit after having a
bread knife held to his throat. Another was attacked when he was caught
stealing icing and marzipan from the kitchen storeroom. Many of these
offences were happening as early as1967 at Portland Young Offenders
Institution, and at Medomsley Detention Centre for 17 years.

Psychologist Elli Godsy said that these crimes were some of the worst sexual abuse she has ever heard of.
“This is one of the worst cases of sexual abuse I have come across in my
17 years working for the home office and working with some of the most
prolific sex offenders and victims in the country.”
Sexual abuse on this scale could only happen in an institution, and
Husband was continually moved around from one young offenders
institution to another, allowing him to continue to sexually assault
young boys wherever he went with absolute and total impunity. Countless
young people were dehumanized and degraded in a never-ending flow of
young flesh to the torture chamber.

Governors and senior management were in full knowledge as to the horrors
that were going on in the Medomsley Detention Centre. They became the
people who aided and abetted Neville Husband in his perversions. They
helped him to escape liability for damage done to so many people, over a
very long time. Governors and senior management turned a blind eye to
the blatant sexual, physical abuse, and constant barracking. This
destructive behavior originated from those who were meant to be helping
with the rehabilitation of young minds, with the intention that these
young boys would go on to becoming productive members of society

For example, governors and senior management not only knew what was
going on in the kitchen area but they actively prevented all officers’
rights of search in Neville Husband’s designated areas. Former prison
officer David Gordon McClure alleged that…

“Tim Newell (the Governor) thought very highly of Husband and seemed to look after him.”

“For example, on a regular basis on rotation we would thoroughly search
various areas within the centre. This was to look for cigarettes and

“All main areas of the prison were searched except for the kitchen area.

“The prison management would not allow anyone but Husband to have access
to the kitchen area. If anyone did try and search this area there were
reprimanded by management.” especially a governor called Tim Newell”

“There were always very strong rumours that Neville Husband was
homosexual and that he was sexually abusing boys who were working for
him in the kitchen. This was general knowledge amongst staff and boys in
the centre.”

“Most evenings Husband would usually keep one boy back with him after
the others had been dismissed and we all felt sorry for that boy.

“Nobody reported their suspicions to anyone because Husband was so close
to and supported by the Governor and his senior management. Without
proof we knew that nothing would come of it except that we would be
moved to a different prison.”

We feel that as we were prisoners, articles from the Geneva Convention
on the torture and degradation of prisoners would be more applicable in
cases like this.

* * *

We go to court again in London on the 17th 18th and 19th of October to
hear the reasons behind the Home Offices appeal against judge Cockroft’s
historic decision. This may allow Kevin Young’s case to go forward to
the high court.

Mr Young, 45, said: “I’ve said from the start, this is not about money.
It is about the principle that people knew this was going on but nothing
was done about it.
The experience left him mentally scarred, and he was determined to help
bring his tormentors to justice. This started when police officers asked
him to tell his story back in 1998 as part of the operation rose years

The evidence and testimonies of the many victims and other prison
officers from Medomsley at the time Neville Husband was there, were
instrumental in bringing him to justice. Jurors heard how Husband used
intimidation and fear to ensure the silence of his detention centre
victims, all from damaged backgrounds.
Judge Esmond Faulks told him:

“Their fear of you caused them to submit to your unwelcome attentions
and this was in my judgement a gross breach of trust. You and others
like you helped cause their damaged personalities. Until now they never
thought anyone would believe them.

After the case, Det Insp Simon Orton, who led the Durham Police investigation, said he was delighted by the outcome of the case.

“It is clear this man feasted himself on these young men who were in his
charge,” he said. “I hope that this will bring closure for the victims.
I have no doubt in my mind their lives will always be affected by what
happened in Medomsley. My thoughts are very much with the victims still.
DI Orton said:
“He has never acknowledged any guilt.”
“They have been very brave.”

Following the news coverage of his first trial, that Neville Husband was
called back to court. More than seven new victims had come forward, and
he eventually pleaded guilty and what’s more dropped his appeal against
his original 10 year sentence.

Tim Newell was Governor from 1979 to 1981 at Medomsley. He was at
Grendon prison as well as the architect of the restorative justice
reforms. He says in his statement… “About five years after leaving
Medomsley I was on a course at the Prison Training College at Wakefield,
when I bumped into a Medomsley colleague John McBee. John told me that
Neville had to leave the service over an allegation that he had abused a

That would make it around 1985/86 when Husband, “Had to leave the
service over an allegation that he had abused a boy.” In 1985/86, after
being forced to leave Medomsley then got a promotion to senior officer
at the Frankland Maximum security prison in Co Durham. Martin Narey was
the deputy governor at the Frankland from 1986 to 89, and the governor
when Husband was abusing at deerbolt borstal. He was promoted to a
senior officer as ‘punishment’ for being caught sexually abusing boys.

Public Relations

Gerry Sutcliffe, parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Home Office is
aware of outstanding civil claims relating to abuse of prisoners at the
Medomsley detention centre which closed in 1988. His view is that while
these civil actions are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment on
any calls for a public inquiry.

“A cash boost in May this year thanks to £1.25million funding for
voluntary and community organisations throughout England and Wales,
announced Home Office Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

“Sexual crimes can result in high levels of distress and can be the most
damaging physically and emotionally. This funding will help to ensure
that victims of these terrible offences have timely access to advice,
information, care and counselling that meets their individual needs no
matter where they are in the country.

“I am determined that the needs of victims of crime must be better met
and this funding is part of a wider programme of Government initiatives
to put the needs of those affected by crime central in the criminal
justice system.”

This is what Gerry Sutcliff says in public; however when in private he
is as bad as the abusers. He is allowing the suffering of all the
victims from Medomsley to continue, and has failed to respond adequately
to calls for a public inquiry into Medomsley Detention Centre and the
decades of sexual torture many young kids were put through.

The sexual abuse of a child is a uniquely horrible crime, because it
destroys the child’s sense of him or herself and undermines the capacity
to trust. The fact that this crime is usually carried trusted and
respected adults of some standing, makes the damage worse.

Mr. Young, says that it is not just him, but other Medomsley claimants
are still locked in an ongoing high court case against the Home Office.

Mr Young, from York, said: “I saw some things that nobody should have to see as a young person.

Governors of the Medomsley Detention Centre and their senior management
“were aware of what was happening” at the centre and “failed to stop or
act upon, in accordance with the prison protocols of that time.”

Many if not all of the vulnerable youths were from broken homes and
fractured backgrounds. They took on the baggage of being in the care
system, where they were also sexually and physically abused, not to
mention ill educated. This was the only alternative to being looked
after by the church. And we all know where that leads.

I believe Husband had access to all the records about the inmates he
chose to serve in his kitchen; he used these to great effect. I also
believe that he was not!! allowed to have access to these private
documents that were for the eyes of the governor and senior officers
only ad he would use these to make his decision on who he could abuse.
Who has little contact with the outside world?

Who doesn’t have parents? How many come directly from the care system or had abusive parents?

In Medomsley, we would start work early as we had to get all the
breakfasts ready for all the other inmates. Husband would always be
there, almost superimposed on every synapse of each young mind in his
charge. He had enormity and presence in his own kingdom.

I’ll not bother telling you how breakfasts were in Medomsley … sufficed
to they were fast! Everything worked that way in places like that. Once
you were at work, Husband would make an excuse to get past you while you
were, lets say, tending the potato peeling machine. As he did so he
would press his penis towards your backside fleetingly then carry on
what he was doing.

On the way back he would do the same thing only with more gusto, and we
all knew what might follow. He would sense everything from the initial
contact in the dining hall, where he would inspect the newest intake to
the centre that day, and then he’d choose who would work in the kitchen.

All his victims were threatened with their lives. Neville Husband laid
claim to being in the Military and was trained to kill. “You could
disappear in places like this and nobody would ever know.” “You could be
buried in the bottom sports field and nobody would care.”

One centre he worked in closed in 1987. There, male inmates stayed until
they were 21, and during that time in the North East detention centre
he went on to becoming Reverend Husband, a minister at the Brighton Road
Reformed Church in Bensham, Gateshead.


The UK’s most vulnerable children are being “betrayed” by a care system
that is guilty of a catalogue of failings, according to a damning
report. The majority of young people leaving institutions are destined
to become prostitutes, homeless or spend time in prison, the study
states. Harriet Sergeant, author of ‘Handle with Care: an investigation
into the care system’, said:
“It is not just a tragedy for the individual. A successful system of care would transform this country.

“At a stroke it would empty a third of our prisons. It would halve the
number of prostitutes, reduce by between a third and a half the number
of homeless and remove 80% of Big Issue sellers from our street corners.

“Not only is our system failing the young people in care, it is failing society and perpetuating an underclass.”

The report says that out of the 6,000 people who leave care on average
every year, 75% (4,500) will have no educational qualifications and
within two years 50% will be unemployed, while 20% (1,200) will be
homeless. Just one out of a hundred will make it to university. In the
year ending March 31 2005, 60,900 children were taken in care – most
placed with foster parents or in children’s homes. Failings of the care
system included children being moved among foster carers too often, and
homes focusing on short-term containment rather then the long-term
well-being of the youngsters. The report concluded the system should be
reformed to provide “secure, stable, long-term and loving care for
difficult children”.

New initiatives that might help children should be explored and young
people should be tracked after leaving care in order to build up a true
picture of how the system was working, it added.


One would think the Crown and its employees could not act with absolute
carelessness and abandon. One would think that it has sufficient morals
of the sort that bind humanity together, yet the above comments show
that this is far from the truth. Even today, despite the sector’s growth
in statistical knowledge and greater education, young people are still
not tracked after leaving care. A public servant is allowed to continue
sexually assaulting children with absolute and total impunity. The
authorities, being in full knowledge of these horrors are allowed to
escape liability for the damage done whilst simultaneously, those same
authorities don’t hesitate to punish a child for stealing a watch. It is
clear from what has happened, that carelessness and abandon are words
that do describe the actions of the Crown and those public servants who
are only there at all because they have our trust.

We the undersigned hope that you can bring these matters to light in an
effective way. This will make a difference not only to us, but the
thousands of other abuse survivors whose abuse originated from being in
the care of government institutions.

To this end, we will be cooperative in any projects you wish to propose that we feel are for the greater good.

Kind regards.


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