A GMB member who was abused by a prison officer has received £40,000 in damages after a landmark legal ruling.

The union member from County Durham, who does not want his identity revealed, was sexually abused by Neville Husband, a prison officer who preyed on young inmates at the former Medomsley Detention Centre, County Durham, in the 1970s and 1980s.

The judgment means that other victims of the prison officer now have a chance to win justice.

The 43-year-old labourer was an inmate at Medomsley between April and May 1985. He was just 17 and serving a sentence for burglary and assault.

Husband abused this young person when he had just a few days of his sentence left. He was too scared to tell anyone about what happened at the time.

He revealed his ordeal decades later after he heard police wanted to speak to Husband’s victims.

Husband was jailed for 10 years after two separate criminal cases were brought against him.

Evidence later emerged that Husband’s colleagues had suspected he was molesting boys at the time but did nothing.

One of his victims brought a civil case against the Home Office and the Court of Appeal ruled the victims should be paid damages even though more than 30 years had passed.

The GMB fought for damages on behalf of its member

The GMB fought for damages on behalf of its member with help from its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors and secured an out of court settlement.

The abuse victim said: “It has taken us 10 years to get some sort of justice and now Husband is out of prison.

“We have got there in the end but it has been a long, hard struggle. In reality, it won’t change anything for me because I will still have the nightmares and it will be the same for other victims but life has to go on.

“At least this is some sort of victory to cling to and some sort of closure. I can say that part of my life is over.”

Regional secretary of the GMB, Tom Brennan added: “What this man did to a vulnerable young person was vile. Husband's colleagues were suspicious, but never stepped in to protect the youngsters.

“We are only too pleased to have been able to support this claim and while the compensation will never replace the life this victim feels he has lost it will go some way toward providing a feeling of justice.”

Mick Laffey from Thompsons Solicitors added: "What Husband did was unthinkable and has destroyed people’s lives. This legal ruling opens the door to allow all his victims a chance for justice by claiming compensation.”