Kelly Darlington, Associate Partner represented Mr H in a claim against the Ministry of Justice arising from an unlawful sentence of imprisonment imposed upon him at Bolton Crown Court which we alleged caused his rights under Article 5 ECHR to be breached.
The claim was brought pursuant to section 7 and section 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and on the basis that the Defendant is liable under the Act for any breach of relevant Convention rights caused by the judicial act of a Crown Court judge.
Extended sentences imposed by the Crown Court judge were alleged to be unlawful on the basis that the conditions for imposing these sentences were not satisfied. The imposition of these sentences meant that the Claimant was not released on licence at the halfway point of his custodial term but instead was treated as an extended sentence prisoner who only became eligible for release by the Parole Board at the two-thirds point of his custodial sentence. Whilst serving his sentence and with the assistance of representation he made an application for leave to appeal against sentence. On appeal the extended sentences were quashed on the basis that they were unlawful and the Claimant was released on licence the following day.
It was alleged that had the Claimant been lawfully sentenced he would have been released on licence sooner and not remained in custody for a further period of approximately five months before release. Furthermore, his mother died at the time he remained in custody and was unable to visit her or pay his respects. It was alleged that his caused him additional anguish and distress.
The claim was issued in the High Court and the Defendant filed a Defence to the claim. Shortly after, we invited the Defendant to agree that the claim be stayed by the Court to allow the parties time to explore whether the claim was capable of settlement without further involvement of the Court. The Defendant agreed to this proposal and negotiations were entered into resulting in damages being paid to the Claimant in the sum of £14,250.00.