Leave site
Skip to content

Former prison officer jailed for non-recent abuse of children

Icon of a judge and words saying charged

A former prison officer has been sentenced after being convicted of abusing boys at a former juvenile detention centre in South Gloucestershire.

Patrick Devaney, 81, of County Down in Northern Ireland, was found guilty of misconduct in public office earlier this year in relation to repeatedly assaulting teenage boys in his care at Eastwood Park, where he worked from 1970 until 1983.

He was sentenced today (Friday 15 September) at Bristol Crown Court to three-and-a-half years in prison.

Speaking upon conviction earlier this year, Detective Inspector Alan Smith, the senior investigating officer, said: “Patrick Devaney exploited his position to physically assault those who he was meant to keep safe.

“He worked for the prison service at a time when there was a government policy of giving young offenders a ‘short, sharp shock’ by way of punishment.

“The force he used however went way beyond what was appropriate and acceptable, with many of his victims describing him as sadistic and someone who enjoyed inflicting pain on them.

“He admitted to giving the boys a clip around the ears and raps on the knuckles but vehemently denied abusing them in the way he did.”

He added: “Every one of his victims has been affected by his actions with some suffering significant trauma which they have lived with for more than 50 years.

“I’d like to praise the courage they have all shown in reporting what happened to them and giving testimony in front of him at court.

“I hope this outcome gives other victims of abuse the confidence to come forward. Even if offences have been committed years ago, we can and will investigate them thoroughly.”