VICTIMS of disgraced church minister Neville Husband last night called for a public inquiry into his campaign of homosexual rape of teenage inmates while working as a prison officer.

Husband, who will be 68 next month, abused his power in a "gross and wicked" way which "amounted to a campaign of homosexual rape", Newcastle Crown Court was told yesterday.

The minister is serving eight years after being found guilty of a string of sex attacks against teenage boys during a nine-year campaign, from 1976 to 1985.

Husband, who trained as a minister for the United Reformed Church after leaving the Prison Service, was serving at two churches in Gateshead when he was jailed for eight years, in 2003.

He was brought back to court yesterday after six former inmates of Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett, County Durham, contacted police after hearing of his conviction.

Husband, formerly of Snows Green Road, Shotley Bridge, Consett, County Durham, admitted sexually assaulting four of them.

Jamie Hill, prosecuting, told the court that from 1969 to 1985, Husband had worked at the detention centre.

Mr Hill said: "He was the prison officer caterer, in charge of the kitchens - a position he held for 16 years.

"Husband repeatedly, in abuse of his position of authority, sexually assaulted these boys working in the kitchens."

He told the court how a 17-year-old was attacked in a store room near the kitchen. The boy screamed so loudly Husband held a bread knife to his neck to shut him up.

During his term of imprisonment, the teenager was raped repeatedly by Husband.

Another boy was raped when Husband caught him stealing icing and marzipan from the kitchen store room. He later attempted suicide.

A third boy tried to fight off Husband's advances and was beaten savagely for it. He was subsequently raped several times. A fourth inmate was raped but felt he could say nothing about it.

Husband yesterday admitted three charges of buggery, committed between January 1976 and December 1985, and one indecent assault, committed between January 1980 and December 1981.

He also admitted his guilt in the other offences for which he was jailed in 2003.

In mitigation, Toby Hedworth said: "Any sentence he will serve is made more difficult because of his past service as a prison officer. He lives in permanent fear of retribution in the prison environment."

Judge Esmond Faulks told Husband: "In your care were a number of boys, often from broken homes, often with personality problems.

"They all needed help. Instead of helping them to overcome their problems you took advantage of your position to sexually abuse a number of them with the use of threats and violence."

He jailed Husband for a total of two years, to run after the eight-year sentence imposed in 2003.

Last night, one of Husband's victims demanded an inquiry into how he was able to carry on assaulting youngsters for so long.

Kevin Young, 45, who waived his anonymity at an earlier trial of Husband, said victims' pleas had been ignored or not taken seriously.

Mr Young said: "We want the Home Office to acknowledge what has happened to us. The warning signs were there, yet nothing was done.

"We want an independent public inquiry looking into the whole issue and an apology. Only then will we be able to move on.