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 Operation Seabrook - Medomsley Detention Centre


​‘Operation Seabrook’ is the criminal investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by staff against detainees at Medomsley Detention Centre near Consett, County Durham.


It was launched in August 2013 and is investigating incidents which happened over many years, principally the 1970s and 1980s. 


The three main aims of the investigation are:

* to ensure support is provided for victims so they are in a better place after contacting the police    

* to gain the fullest understanding of how Medomsley operated during those years 

* to secure evidence so that any potential offenders are brought to justice.


Anyone needing to make contact with the team in writing can email



Five men jailed for physically abusing inmates at former detention centre
FIVE men have been jailed for almost 18 years for physically abusing young men at the former Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett.

The men, who are all former members of staff, were convicted of physically abusing inmates at the centre during the 1970s and 1980s following three trials at Teesside Crown Court.

An investigation into allegations of abuse at the detention centre, which closed in 1988, was launched by Durham Constabulary in August 2013.

Named Operation Seabrook, it is now one of the largest investigations of its kind in the UK. So far, 1,793 men have come forward to police to report allegations of abuse while detained at the centre.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, said: “This has been an incredibly long and complex investigation spanning more than five years.

“When we launched Operation Seabrook back in August 2013, we could never have envisaged the huge numbers of men coming forward to report abuse while detained at Medomsley.

“The investigation team faced an enormous challenge due to the sheer scale of the enquiry, the nature of the offences and the time that has elapsed.

“I am extremely proud of the team who have worked hard to investigate all reported incidents of abuse and gather evidence to present in court.

“We appreciate that for the victims and survivors of abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre, it has taken courage to come forward and tell police what happened to them.

“It is not easy to relive such distressing incidents, but we hope that they have found some solace in reporting their stories to police, being listened to, and that the issues at Medomsley are being discussed in public.”  

Christopher Onslow was found guilty of three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), one of inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) and one of wounding with intent to cause GBH.

The 73-year-old was also convicted of two counts of misconduct in a public office, which encompassed a number of incidents in which he assaulted and abused prisoners in his charge. He was jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

John McGee, 75, was convicted of misconduct in a public office and assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was sentenced to two years and eight months behind bars.

Kevin Blakely, 67, was found guilty of two counts of misconduct in a public office, which covered a number of violent incidents, and was jailed for two years and nine months.

Brian Johnson Greenwell, 71, and Alan Bramley, 70, were both found guilty one count of misconduct in a public office.

They were jailed for two-and-a-half years and 18 months, respectively.

All five men have submitted appeals against their convictions. These appeals are ongoing. 

Important - If you are a victim and your contact details have changed, for example, you have moved house or have a new phone number then please email the Seabrook team or call them via 101 so they can update their records. 
Durham Constabulary continues to work with various organisations to provide the best possible support for victims. Access to support is available without the need to contact the police for those who feel unable to do so.



 Independent Psychotherapist Zoe Lodrick




The following organisations can be contacted independently of the police for support .




National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children                                                                                    0808 800 5000
The helpline is available for anyone who has concerns about a child or anyone including adults who wish to discuss their own experience of abuse as a child or young person.
Contact can also be made via e mail :  or by text 88858
Contact can be made anonymously if the caller so wishes.
Freephone from all landlines and mobile networks 0808 801 0331.
Calls do not show on your bill; lines are open 10am to 9pm Monday - Thursday, and 10am to 6pm on Friday. NAPAC is unable to take messages or ring back. 
The Meadows:
0191 372 9202
he Meadows will accept calls between the hours of 9am-3.30 pm Monday to Friday and can arrange one-to-one counselling sessions and can make referrals to similar centres throughout the UK.



Counselling does not involve discussing what has happened in relation to the assault, it aims to help you work through your feelings to aid the healing process.
Staff at the Meadows will not contact the police without your consent unless there are current concerns in respect of a child or vulnerable adult.