ADAM RICKWOOD & THE MEDOMSLEY HEROES
This group of men ‘The Medomsley Heroes’, primarily from N.E. England, were all sexually abused by senior prison officer ‘Neville Husband’ back in the 70s. For more than seven years the survivors sought an apology and compensation from the Home Office for their horrific abuse whilst in the care of Medomsley Young Offenders Institution. All the victims interviewed felt they were pressurised into settling their claims out of court, but continue to push for a public enquiry. (Neville Husband served 8 years out of a 10-year sentence in prison for the offence, he was released in October 2009 and died August 2010).
Pie and Mash Films, based in S.E. London is an independent film company working with the victims. Acclaimed Film director Bill Maloney, who has himself come forward as a former victim of institutional abuse, was approached by the Medomsley Heroes to tell their stories of abuse at the hands of the ‘Establishment’. They trusted Bill to allow them to tell the truth with freedom of speech and emotions and without the sanitisation imposed by major broadcasters.
Adam Rickwood brings the story up to date.
During his investigations Bill Maloney also discovered that just five years ago the youngest child to die in custody, Adam Rickwood (14) allegedly committed suicide at the same detention centre – now under the name of Hassockfield STC. Bill built a bond with Carol Pounder, Adam’s Mother, and with Adam’s family and friends who do not believe he committed suicide. The connection of ligature techniques both on the Medomsley victims and on Adam Rickwood is disturbing.
Bill Maloney is now dedicating his filmmaking skills to fight against institutional child abuse. His whole family were brought up and abused in the British care system. In his documentary ‘Adam Rickwood & The Medomsley Heroes’ his intention is to allow the victims to speak for themselves in a working class manner that represents his own culture.
Bill’s technique, to comprise a bigger picture into the smaller frame that the public is often shown, breathes life and thought provoking images into the documentary.
The gritty documentary’s aim is to inform and raise public awareness as to the brutality and dangers dwelling within child care institutions and within the ‘youth’ prison service. The restraining techniques used by children’s care officers are horrific and cause children as young as 14 to take their own lives.
This documentary instigated an investigation by Eric Allison at The Guardian Newspaper:
ERIC ALLISON – Guardian Newspaper’s Prison Correspondent:
“We were alerted to this horror story by a powerful no-budget film, Adam Rickwood and the Medomsley Heroes, produced by Pie and Mash Films. It was never broadcast but is available on YouTube. It is a long and angry account of the anguish caused by Husband, exacerbated by the system that protected him. It does not make comfortable viewing. Those who betrayed the boys in their charge ought to be made to watch it.”
On ‘Prime Minister’s Question Time’ 23 May 2012
BREAKTHROUGH FOR ‘THE MEDOMSLEY HEROES’ things have moved swiftly ….
VIEW: PRIME MINISTER’S QUESTION TIME 23 MAY 2012
From 31:38 to end of video
“I do want to hear Mr McCann”
MICHAEL MCCANN (MP — Labour) :
“Mr Speaker, Prison Officer Neville Husband abused young men in the Medomsley Detention Centre for decades before he was prosecuted and sentenced for some of his crimes.
A Constituent who was abused by Husband has given me information which suggests that senior figures in the Establishment knew what was going on.
The CPS refuses to pursue these matters and instead the Home Office has sought to issue compensation payments.
Mr Speaker, young men were detained by the State and then they were abuse by the State. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that a full enquiry is necessary to insure that justice is done and is seen to be done?”
DAVID CAMERON (Prime Minister – Conservative):
“Well I think the first thing that the honourable gentleman should do, and I’m sure he already has, is make sure that any evidence he has of abuse, or of cover-ups of abuse, or compliance with abuse, is given too the Crown Prosecution Service and given too the authorities so it can be properly investigated.
The Home Affairs Select Committee on which I sat actually looked into this issue in years gone past, made a number of recommendations, so I’ll look ‘carefully’ at what the honourable gentleman said and see if there’s more advice I can provide.”