QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF MICHAEL ROBSON||Claimant|
|(1) PAROLE BOARD|
|(2) SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||Defendants|
|(1) GOVERNOR OF HMP ACKLINGTON|
|(2) LIFER REVIEW AND RECALL SECTION|
|(3) NATIONAL PROBATION SERVICE|
|(4) GOVERNOR OF HMP DURHAM||Interested Parties|
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Mr Ben Watson (instructed by Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
"The Panel, after carefully considering all the evidence, is satisfied that the risk is still too high to warrant a transfer to open conditions and therefore does not recommend such a move."
I interpolate to make the obvious comment that the threshold test for open conditions is less demanding than for release into the community. I continue the quote:
"The work which has been identified as still outstanding will need to be completed and concerns about his mental health resolved before a transfer to open conditions can be safely or appropriately contemplated."
"In sum, while he has made some very good progress with general offending behaviour programmes, he has struggled with the more intensive and challenging programmes and 'there is still a strong argument that further intervention is required'."
"A defendant suffering from the mental disorders found by the three psychiatrists who gave evidence for the defence, who was likely to be rendered all the more dangerous by reason of his addiction to misuse of drugs and alcohol, who could give no explanation for his offending since he said he did not remember the events, and who had killed his close or best friend and slashed in anger at his sister with whom he was living and to whom he was bonded, had plainly committed offences of sufficient seriousness and would for a wholly uncertain period remain dangerous to the public and constitute a sufficiently high risk of committing further grave offences likely to cause serious harm as not only to justify but require a life sentence..."
"It follows that he is entitled to be considered for early release by the Parole Board immediately. We recognise that the Parole Board has a heavy workload and responsibility. Nevertheless, having regard to the time which the appellant has spent in prison, we would direct the Board, if we have power to do so, alternatively urge it, to consider the appellant's case as soon as possible. Their consideration of his case is, of course, entirely a matter for them, as the appellant should understand."
"Therefore, the Secretary of State acknowledges that Mr Robson has not had adequate time to address the work highlighted by the Parole Board in August 2006 and this is through no fault of his own."
"Both he and Miss Armstrong, the seconded probation officer, were of the view that you needed to undertake PASRO and CALM, for which you would need to be assessed particularly due to the problems you have displayed since the Court of Appeal decision. The Panel also noted that you and your evidence to them accepted that the disappointment of the Court of Appeal not releasing you added to your stress and contributed to the deterioration in your mental health."
The Judicial Review Proceedings
"It is felt that the date offered is too distant from the decision of the Court of Appeal meaning the applicant would have served some six months since the date of the decision, this being in excess of what an unexpedited prisoner would receive."
The Present Claim