Hailsham man charged in connection with youth jail abuse allegations

Police news
Police news

A 26-year-old man from Hailsham has been charged with misconduct in public office following an investigation into allegations of abuse at a youth prison.

The investigation, into abuse allegations at the Medway Secure Training Centre (STC) in Kent, was launched earlier this year following undercover filming by the BBC's Panorama programme.

On Wednesday (September 21), Kent Police said they charged a total of eight people in connection with their investigation - including Anthony James Dance, 26, of Hailsham.

Police say Dance and five other men were charged with misconduct in a public office. They are misconduct in a public office. They are: Christopher Lomax, 34, of Timbertops, Chatham; James Beech, 26, of Chilton Avenue, Sittingbourne; Jonathan Kane, 34, of Stratford Lane, Gillingham; Matthew Cunningham, 35, of Megby Close, Gillingham; and Gareth Evans, 25, of Tintagel Gardens, Rochester.

An seventh man, Peter Scott, 29, of Goodwood Crescent, Gravesend, has been charged with taking photographs and making recordings inside a prison contrary to the Prison Act.

In July, Rebecca Harold, 24, of Grecian Street in Maidstone, was charged with common assault in connection with the investigation. She has been released on bail and appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on August 23. She is due back before Magistrates on October 26.

A Kent Police spokesman said Evans will appear in court on October 18. Scott is due to appear on October 19 and the remaining five men - including Dance - will appear before magistrates on October 25.

Police also arrested three other men aged 25, 35 and 27 and two woman aged 26 and 42, who have all been released without charge.

A 25-year-old man from Oxfordshire also arrested in connection with the investigation remains on police bail until November 3.

Earlier this year East Sussex County Council confirmed children from the county had been put into the unit but not between September 2015 and when the BBC programme aired in January 2016.

Speaking in January a spokesman for the council said: “There are no children from East Sussex currently placed at Medway Secure Training Centre.

“We have had children from the county placed at the unit in the past, the most recent of which left in September, but there have been no concerns raised to us about any of the children placed at the unit in the past.

“Any decision to place a child in a unit such as this is taken by the Government’s Youth Justice Board.”

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