Unlawful restraint was used at Oakhill

Oakhill Training Centre
Oakhill Training Centre

YOUNG offenders who were held at Oakhill Secure Training Centre could be entitled to compensation.

The news follows a case brought by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England against the Youth Justice Board saying it had failed to stop unlawful force being used against children held at STCs between 1998 and 2008.

The case was launched after an inquest into the death of 14-year-old Adam Rickwood at Hassockfield STC in 2004.

Oakhill, opened in 2004, is one of just four centres in the country. It holds 12-17 year olds sentenced for criminal offences.

Mr Justice Foskett said as many as 25 per cent of restraint incidents at such centres between 1998 and 2008 may have been unlawful, including techniques such as ‘distracting’ a misbehaving child by causing pain through a sharp blow to the nose or ribs.

Such techniques were banned in 2008.

Mr Foskett said: “The children and young persons sent to STCs were sent there because they had acted unlawfully and to learn to obey the law, yet many of them were subject to unlawful actions during their detention.”

Personal Inury Solicitor at Swain & Co Vicki Wright said: “This case has paved the way for children held in STCs between 1998 and 2008 to claim compensation.”