THE scale of the abuse that occurred at Medomsley Detention Centre over the course of three decades is truly staggering.

More than 1,800 complaints have been examined as part of police investigations into what a judge at Teesside Crown Court last week branded “systematic abuse and degradation”.

Victims were traumatised for life by the savage beatings they suffered, and as well as extreme violence being normalised, sexual abuse was also part of the centre’s daily routine.

Justice is finally being served. After a series of trials at Teesside Crown Court, five former warders were convicted for their part in the horror. Last week, a further three former employees were jailed for a total of 13 years and five months, and later this month, two more are due to be sentenced.

The convictions are welcome, but as North-West Durham MP Laura Pidcock spells out in today’s Northern Echo, the fact it has taken so long for the truth to emerge is deeply troubling. It suggests there was a concerted, and sadly successful, effort to suppress and conceal what was going on.

Ms Pidcock has called for a public inquiry into events at Medomsley as she does not feel that the wider Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse adequately addresses the crimes and cover-ups that were specific to the centre.

We support her calls. What happened at Medomsley Detention Centre was truly horrific. It is essential that the full truth is revealed, and lessons can be learned to avoid a similar scandal in the future.