September 2010

Paedophile preacher Neville Husband dies

PERVERT preacher Neville Husband has died.

Victims of the twisted paedophile a who subjected a succession of boys to a campaign of sickening abuse, today breathed a sigh of relief.

Husband preyed on his victims while working at the former Medomsley Detention Centre, in County Durham.

But decades after he carried out the attacks, those he targeted came forward and he was jailed for 10 years at Newcastle Crown Court.


Medomsley Detention Centre

Husband, a former Gateshead clerygyman, was released from prison last year and his victims were horrified to learn he was planning to continue living in the North East

But now the Chronicle can reveal the married 72-year-old, of Shotley Bridge, County Durham, has died.

It comes as yet more men claiming to have suffered at his hands in the 1970s and 80s have come forward to seek compensation from the Home Office.

Late last year, a first wave of victims was awarded £500,000 in compensation for the abuse they were subjected to at Medomsley.

David Greenwood, the solicitor who handled their case, today said: “For the victims of Husband, this will come as a relief because it means he will no longer be a risk to young people.”

One of the victims awarded compensation, who still lives on Tyneside and cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “To be honest, it is a bit of an anti-climax.

“The big thing for me is that I no longer have to think about him being out there and I also know there is no chance he can prey on anyone else because in my eyes, that man would always have been a risk as long as he was alive.”

Father-of-one Husband ran the kitchens at the borstal near Consett from 1975-1981 and later became a minister of Brighton Road and Cromer Avenue URC churches in Gateshead.

He hand-picked boys to work with him before brutally attacking them. One was forced to submit after having a bread knife held to his throat and another was attacked when he was caught stealing icing and marzipan from the store.

In February 2003, he was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of abusing five youngsters and was jailed for eight years. The publicity surrounding the trial led to others coming forward and in September, he was jailed for a further two years for attacks on four others.

In 2006, the Chronicle revealed documents showing he had been investigated for importing homosexual pornography into the prison service 10 years before he preyed on youngsters at Medomsley.

And statements given to police by prison officers who worked with Husband suggested suspicions were rife about his cravings for young boys in the kitchens, where sex toys and pornography were found when searched.

Transcripts of interviews also revealed thousands of indecent pictures of children were found on computers seized from Husband’s home and his URC office.

Further evidence emerged that colleagues of Husband suspected he was molesting boys at the time but did nothing.

That sparked a compensation case against the Home Office and a landmark legal ruling determined Husband’s victims were entitled to damages even though more than 30 years had passed.

And in November, the Ministry of Justice agreed to pay 12 men £528,000 for the abuse they suffered during their time at Medomsley.

Husband’s death certificate reveals he died on August 23 on Snows Green Road, Shotley Bridge.

The certificate says the primary cause of death was congestive cardiac failure, with the secondary cause being type 2 diabetes.

He is listed as being a former minister of religion and factory worker.

Febuary 2003

Pervert church minister jailed

DISGRACED church minister Neville Husband was behind bars last night after being convicted of sexually abusing five young inmates while he worked as a prison officer.

Husband, 65, of Shotley Bridge, County Durham, used his position at a detention centre to prey on his vulnerable victims.

He showed no emotion as Judge Esmond Faulks jailed him for eight years and told him: “The victims were young trainees whom you chose to work for you in your kitchen so you could abuse them.

“Their fear of you caused them to submit to your unwelcome attentions, and this was in my judgement a gross breach of trust.

“You and others like you helped cause their damaged personalities.

“Up until now, they never thought anyone would believe them.”

The attacks happened at Medomsley Detention Centre in Consett, County Durham, in the 1970s and 80s where Husband spent 17 of his 27 years with the prison service.

He had denied abusing six inmates aged between 16 and 19, but was found guilty by a jury of ten charges of indecent assault and one of buggery, relating to five boys. The jury cleared him of two further indecent assaults, while the judge had directed them to find him not guilty on three more.

Kevin Young, 43, a witness who has waived his right to anonymity, told the court he would plead with his tormentor to stop the repeated attacks, but was warned he could be found hanging in his cell.

It has emerged that Husband, who became a United Reformed Church minister in charge of two churches in Gateshead, had at least two previous brushes with the law – but slipped through the net both times.

While training as a prison officer in the 1960s, Husband was involved in the importation of gay porn from Scandinavia. But no charges were brought after he claimed he had obtained the material for research.

Then, in 1999, he was charged after police obtained a mailing list from paedophile organisations. Husband, who had bought two videos, was due to appear before Derwentside magistrates. But the case collapsed when an expert witness failed to turn up.