Tyne & Wear

Medomsley Detention Centre 'paedophile ring' may have abused hundreds

Neville Husband Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Neville Husband was jailed for 12 years in 2003 for abuse

Hundreds of vulnerable boys at a detention centre may have been abused by a paedophile ring in the 1970s and 1980s, police fear.

The Durham force said it was "shocked" after getting hundreds of calls after a BBC programme about sexual and physical abuse was shown in January.

A spokeswoman said there were now up to 500 victims claiming physical or sexual abuse at the Medomsley juvenile centre.

Two members of staff at the centre were jailed in 2003 and 2005 over the abuse.

Prison officer jailed

Durham Police said many former inmates who had been in touch since the BBC Inside Out programme was shown were now get counselling.

The majority of men - about 340 - claim they were physically assaulted and around 160 said they were sexually abused.

The centre closed in 1988 after the abuse came to light, but has since reopened as a secure training unit.

Neville Husband, who worked at the detention centre as a prison officer, was jailed for 12 years for in 2003 for sexual abuse.

Leslie Johnson, a store man, was sentenced to six years in 2005. Both men have since died.

However, police are investigating if other people were involved in abusing boys at the centre.

A spokeswoman for Durham Police said: "We are now looking at potentially 500 victims linked to Medomsley."

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