QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF P|
|1. MERSEY CARE NHS TRUST (ASHWORTH HOSPITAL)|
|2. DR CAROLINE MULLIGAN|
|3. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||(DEFENDANTS)|
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MR A BODNAR (instructed by Capsticks) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
MR M CHAMBERLAIN (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the 3rd Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
Monday, 3 March 2003
"Dr Snowden became Mr P's RMO on 1st July 2001 and was of the view that another attempt at trial leave was worthy of consideration. He believed that the clinical team would consider any recommendation of a place in a less secure setting and towards that end he approached Dr Gosh from Chadwick Lodge. Dr Snowden said in his report of 15th October 2001 that it would probably be Mr P's last and best chance to move out of high security. There was however one member of the team who was firmly opposed to such a move, that was Dr Scholey who has provided us with a highly detailed and comprehensive psychological report dated 8th April 2002 in which, for reasons we shall come to, he opposes the move to Chadwick Lodge.
Despite Dr Solely's opposition, the proposed move went to the Home Office for their approval but by letter dated 23rd May 2002 the Home Secretary rejected Dr Snowden's suggestion. By this time and as from February 2002 Dr Mulligan had assumed the responsibility of being Mr P's RMO, and she joined Dr Scholey supporting his opposition to the proposed move to Chadwick Lodge. By way of complication the Home Office on 19th July 2002 informed us that the [Home Secretary] would be prepared to consider any recommendation for a move to conditions of lesser security which offers a realistic prospect of Mr P's successfully completing a Sex Offender Treatment Programme."
"We do not have a statutory duty to make any recommendation and we realise that any recommendation we make does not bind the Home Secretary. It has been a difficult balancing act in this case as to whether we should make any recommendation at all. On balance, in view of the long history by various professionals in favour of transfer to conditions of lesser security, we feel that Mr P, at the age of nearly 65 and 30 years after the index offence should be given the opportunity of trial leave in conditions of lesser security at Chadwick lodge where we accept that Dr Ghosh runs an establishment capable of dealing with Mr P's condition. We sympathise with the views expressed by Dr Mulligan and it should be made clear to Mr P that his stay at Chadwick Lodge will be long term and not just a brief stepping stone into the community. Should he fail at all, he must be returned here immediately."