QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF PB||Claimant|
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||Defendant|
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Mr S Singh (instructed by Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
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"24. ... The defendant maintained at the first opportunity that she was the victim of torture. Dr Cohen recorded that she had multiple scars on both legs and feet, attributed to the kicks causing lacerations, and that the appearance of these scars was highly consistent with that attribution. The scars were therefore multiple and visible. Although Dr Cohen has substantial experience and expertise in the relevant skill of assessing attribution, I see no obvious reason why a competent GP, giving the claimant a thorough physical examination against the background of allegations of torture, would not have seen the scars and would not have reached the same, or a very similar, conclusion to that reached by Dr Cohen.
25. It seems to me also, having regard to the nature of the scars and the serious mistreatment to which they may well have related, that it was more probable than not that a report would have been made under rule 35(3). Given that any such report would have been capable of constituting independent evidence of torture, I believe also that having regard to the nature of the scars and the gravity of the mistreatment to which they may well have related, the putative rule 34 examination and rule 35 report would, on a balance of probabilities, have brought about the claimant's release from detention in the absence of any exceptional circumstances justifying such detention. No such circumstances are relied on by the defendant and I accordingly hold the detention, after a short period sufficient to have allowed a proper procedure to be followed, to be unlawful.
26. At paragraph 120 of D and K, Davies J proceeded on the basis that the release decision would have been taken by the end of the day following removal to detention, and that a certain number of days would have been necessary to make transport arrangements. I see no reason why a similar approach is not appropriate in this case and, on that basis, on my calculation, the release from detention should have been effected by the end of 16th December 2006.
27. It is not disputed that compensation should be awarded if the detention was unlawful. The amount of that compensation should be assessed at a later hearing, if not previously agreed in the interim, and the assessment should be reserved to myself. This conclusion also determines part of the third issue referred to earlier."
"In a straightforward case of wrongful arrest and imprisonment the starting point is likely to be about £500 for the first hour during which the plaintiff has been deprived of his or her liberty. After the first hour an additional sum is to be awarded, but that sum should be on a reducing scale so as to keep the damages proportionate with those payable in personal injury cases and because the plaintiff is entitled to have a higher rate of compensation for the initial shock of being arrested. As a guideline we consider, for example, that a plaintiff who has been wrongly kept in custody for twenty four hours should for this alone normally be regarded as entitled to an award of about £3,000. For subsequent days the daily rate will be on a progressively reducing scale."
"The figures which we have identified so far are provided to assist the Judge in determining the bracket within which the jury should be invited to place their award. We appreciate, however, that circumstances can very dramatically from case to case and that these and the subsequent figures which we provide are not intended to be applied in a mechanistic manner."