Mr B instructed Farleys in connection with a claim for false imprisonment against the Ministry of Justice as a result of their failure to release him from HMP Liverpool on 4th September 2012.
On the aforementioned date, Mr B appeared at a hearing before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court by videolink from HMP Liverpool. The outcome of the hearing was that the Mr B was granted conditional bail, whereupon he became entitled to be released from custody. The hearing finished at 4.30 pm however prison staff at HMP Liverpool kept him in custody and did not release him until approximately 11am of 5th September, over 18 hours later. Mr B was told that the reason for his continued detention was that the prison staff were unable to obtain his house keys until the following morning. No further enquiries were made with his Landlord or family members to locate a spare set of keys.
How Farleys Claims Against Public Authorities Department Helped
Upon being contacted by Mr B, Farleys’ specialist claims against public authorities department acted immediately, sending a letter of claim to the Ministry of Justice as a result of Mr B’s unlawful detention. Liability was admitted however the level of compensation that Mr B was entitled to was disputed throughout the case. The Defendant was of the view that the appropriate level of damages that Mr B should be awarded was £750. The Defendant sought to rely on Mr B’s prison record and argued that it was relevant to assessing the alleged “shock and distress” factors in Mr B’s particular situation. Farleys argued on behalf of Mr B that these factors had limited relevance to the issue of quantum and that the Defendant had acted in a high-handed manner in detaining Mr B in custody without any proper or lawful justification. It was argued that Mr B was entitled to an additional award of aggravated damages to reflect the Defendant’s high-handed approach to his detention. The Defendant did not accept that the Mr B was entitled to such an award and subsequently rejected the offer of £2,000 put forward on his behalf.
Judgment was entered on behalf of Mr B and the matter proceeded to a disposal hearing to assess the level of compensation he should receive. Having heard submissions from Counsel acting for the Defendant and Mr B, the Judge was of the view that the Mr B was entitled to £1,500 in basic damages for the unlawful detention. The Judge was of the view that this case met the test for an award of aggravated damages. In addition, he was therefore also awarded £1,000 aggravated damages.
Two days prior to the hearing, an offer in the sum of £1,000 was made on behalf of the Defendant to settle the claim. This was rejected on the basis that it undervalued Mr B’s claim and Farleys and Counsel were confident this offer would be beaten at court.
As the Defendant failed to beat Mr B’s offer of £2,000, Mr B was awarded costs on an indemnity basis from the date of his offer plus interest on these costs.
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