A FORMER prison officer at a detention center accused of a series of sex crimes against young inmates dating back to the 1970s has been ruled unfit to stand trial.

Medical reports submitted on behalf of Alexander Flavell revealed that he will not be able to attend the trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The 89-year-old is also accused of misconduct while working at Medamsley Detention Center in County Durham.

A jury will still decide the facts of the charges against the 89-year-old, but he will not be in court next month.

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Jamie Hill KC, prosecuting, told the judge that a number of applicants died before the case came to trial.

Northern Echo: Alexander FlavelAlexander Flavell

Judge Howard Crowson adjourned the case until February 20, when the hearing is scheduled for four days.

In February last year, the court heard how the second defendant, Iain Matthew Nicholson, died on December 26, 2021.

Mr Nicholson faced a charge of misconduct in public office, three counts of serious sexual offenses and four counts of assault causing bodily harm.

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Northern Echo: Ian NicholsonIan Nicholson

Toby Hedworth, QC, representing Nicholson, said: “Mr Nicholson vigorously denied the allegations until his death.”

At a preliminary hearing, the judge imposed a reporting restriction that prevents the media from publishing any of the defendant’s addresses.

Medamsley Detention Center was closed in 1988 and was used to hold teenagers who had committed relatively minor offences.


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