DETECTIVES in Consett are investigating seven more complaints of sexual abuse against the disgraced church minister Neville Husband who was jailed last month.

Police confirmed this week that seven men had come forward following the publicity surrounding the case of Husband in Newcastle Crown Court.

He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment after being convicted of sexually abusing five young inmates while he worked as a prison officer at Medomsley Detention Centre.

Det Insp David Wolfe, of Consett CID, said: "We have had seven more people come forward to complain as a result of the high-profile trial of Neville Husband.

"We have an office specially allocated to deal with the complaints which will involve a protracted investigation. We will be taking statements from complainants in due course.

"The crimes are similar to those complained about and all took place at the Medomsley Detection Centre, Consett, during the same period."

Det Insp Wolfe said the men who were all former inmates at Medomsley would be asked if they were satisfied with the sentence Husband had been given. They would also be asked whether or not they still wanted to press charges, he added.

It they want to take their complaints further a file will be prepared for the Crown Prosecution Service, for a decision over whether to take Husband to court again.

During a ten-day trial last month, the crown court was told how Husband had used his position in the kitchens at the detention centre to prey on his vulnerable victims.

The attacks happened in the 1970 and 80s at the centre where Husband spent 17 of his 27 years with the prison service.

Husband went on to become a minister with the United Reformed Church in charge of two churches in Gateshead.

When Husband was arrested in June 2001, police found more than 5,000 images - mostly depicting teenage gay sex - on a home computer and laptop found at one of his churches.

He had denied abusing six inmates aged between 16 and 19, but was found guilty of ten charges of indecent assault and one of buggery.