QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(PRESIDENT OF THE QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION)
MRS JUSTICE DOBBS
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Miss R Davidson (instructed by CPS) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
Crown Copyright ©
"Mr Jansons has a long history of severe self-harm. On 5th September 2008 he seriously attempted to kill himself and landed in the intensive care unit at Charing Cross Hospital. If it had not been for the vigilance and competence of the nurses in Wormwood Scrubs, he would not have survived the attempt. It is very likely that if he is sent back to Latvia his mental state will deteriorate and he will attempt to kill himself. The likelihood is high that he will succeed in killing himself."
The addendum report to which I have referred is dated 23rd February 2009 and it elaborates on those matters. The doctor reports in these terms:
"There was somewhat of an improvement in Mr Jansons' mental state. Unfortunately he still remained at risk of suicide. He continued to isolate himself and not mix with any other of the inmates and did not talk to any of the nurses. Due to his high risk of suicide, we had to keep him in protective clothing ie clothing he cannot tear to make nooses to hang himself. He looked depressed at times. He appeared lethargic.
I ask him about his experiences in prison in Latvia, he told me he had been assaulted a number times in prison. He said he had broken ribs, broken nose and bruising. When I asked him who did he said the other inmates. He said the other inmates attempted to kill him because he was not like others. When asked to explain it further, he said it was because he looks and is different. He said that if he returns to Latvia other inmates would kill him. When asked about being sexually assaulted he denied but said there were several attempts. When I questioned him in depth about how he was feeling, I discovered he was experiencing flashbacks to the time in prison in Latvia."
These are terms of the psychiatrist's most recent conclusions and recommendations:
"Mr Jansons suffers from a depressive illness as well as post-traumatic stress disorder which are both psychiatric illnesses as classified in version 10 of the World Health Organisation international classification of diseases and has responded partially to maximum doses of antidepressant medication. If he is sent back to Latvia his mental state will deteriorate and he will kill himself. He showed lethal intent in his previous suicide attempt. Were it not for the vigilance of the staff at Wormwood Scrubs and advance medical techniques he would have been dead or severely brain damaged. It will make Mr Jansons severely depressed and aggravate his post traumatic stress disorder. Basically, he will be sent to what triggered his mental illness. His depression and post traumatic stress disorder is long standing but still responsive to medication. If he is sent back to Latvia his PTSD will become more severe and the longer he has it the less likely it is to respond to medication or other psychological therapies and get better. Some sufferers of chronic PTSD develop an enduring personality change due to catastrophic events. In Latvia Mr Jansons believes he will face assaults, attempts to kill and rape him. He is convinced that if he is sent back to Latvia his life is over."
Whatever may be said internally about those two reports, the fact remains they constitute unchallenged evidence before this court and contain the unqualified statement that if the appellant is sent back to Latvia, his mental state will deteriorate and he will kill himself.
"I entirely accept that a risk of suicide, on sufficiently wellestablished and clear evidence, can form the basis of a proper plea that the individual's Article 3 rights may be infringed by any action which could trigger suicide. That is well established in immigration law; and there seems to me to be no reason why the same principle should not apply in extradition cases."
However, there may be analytic problems in relation to a case in the present instance under Article 3. The essence of the analytical problem being that whilst the appellant can argue strongly for some of the elements which Dyson LJ discussed in the case of J v Secretary of State for the Home Department as being relevant factors, others are either not there or not there sufficiently supported by evidence.
The first factor requires an assessment to be made of the severity of the treatment, which it is said the applicant would suffer if removed. This must attain a minimal level of severity. The treatment in this case is in the sense discussed by Dyson LJ, not really established. The treatment simply consists of his removal, if that be the case, to Latvia. The second consideration is there must be a causal link between the act or threatened act of removal or expulsion and the inhuman treatment relied on as violating the applicant's Article 3 rights. In the context of that case that was inhuman treatment which was alleged to take place on arrival. In the present case it seems to me that the evidence does not establish treatment of that kind. Again, it is the fact of removal and its effect upon his mental state. The third consideration in what was referred to as "a foreign case" is that the Article 3 threshold is particularly high, simply because it is a foreign case. No doubt that would apply in any Article 3 case.