Former prison officer, Alexander Flavell, who is now 89 years of age, was charged with several offences, including misconduct in a public office, two charges of assault, two charges of indecent assault, and another of buggery.

Alexander Flavell, nicknamed ‘Fatty’, was a former prison officer at Medomsley Detention Centre in Consett, County Durham between 1969 and 1975. The aim of the centre was to provide a ‘short, sharp, shock’ treatment to young offenders aged between 17-21 years and was primarily designed to prevent them from being sent to a mainstream prison, however, allegations began to surface from former inmates who were subjected to sexual, physical and mental abuse from a number of prisons officers whilst they were detained in the centre. 


Following a significant number of allegations, Durham Constabulary launched ‘Operation Seabrook’ in 2013 to investigate the increasing complaints. There have now been over 2,000 former inmates that have come forward to report the abuse they were subjected to whilst detained at the Centre.

Flavell was unfit to stand trial this week at Teesside Crown Court due to medical reasons. He was originally due to appear at Court in 2019 but the trial was delayed due to Covid-19. As Flavell did not attend, the jury were simply asked to decide whether he committed the acts as charged. The jury found that he committed misconduct in a public office and one charge of indecent assault. He was cleared of buggery and two counts of assault but the jury were unable to reach a verdict on one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm  therefore the prosecution may apply for a re-trial.

Medomlsey detention centre

He becomes the eighth member of staff from Medomsley Detention Centre to be successfully prosecuted for the historic abuse of former inmates.

Flavell worked alongside the chef, Neville Husband, in the kitchens who was convicted of indecent assault and buggery in 2003. He received two prison sentences totalling 10 years and has since died in 2010.

If you experienced abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre but have not yet reported it, please contact Durham Police on 101 or via their dedicated email address at

How can we help?

How can we help?

If you have been affected by the abuse at Medomsley Detention Centre and wish to speak to a solicitor, please contact Nathalie Clayton. She already represents a large number of former inmates from Medomsley Detention Centre in respect of these claims.

Nathalie can be contacted on 0333 444 4422 or by filling in an online enquiry form. 


Call: 0333 444 4422