R (on the application of Goldsworthy) v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] EWHC 2822 (Admin)

Fri, 01 Dec 2017

The Claimant in this case was a discretionary, life sentenced prisoner who was sentenced in 2006. His tariff expired in 2009. The Claimant suffered from bowel cancer in 2009. He has a number of chronic physical disabilities, including nerve damage. He has restricted mobility, and suffers from incontinence. He uses a stoma and a colostomy bag. He suffers from neuropathic pain in his hands and feet which makes walking difficult, and uses a walking frame or a wheelchair. He also suffers from depression.

In 2017, the Parole Board ordered the Claimant’s release, in releasing him, the Parole Board recognised that the Claimant may be abusive to staff and resistant of care interventions. This was not deemed sufficiently indicative of a risk of future serious harm to justify his continued detention.

The Claimant was released to a care home. The Claimant displayed difficult behaviour within the care home when he learnt that he was terminally ill. In particular, he broke an iPad and a mug belonging to a carer. The Claimant was urgently recalled to prison.

Mrs Justice Nicola Davies granted permission to bring a judicial review and ordered that the SSJ immediately reconsider. The reconsideration stated that the residents he was placed with were elderly and the staff were not used to dealing with offenders, it affirmed the decision to recall him.

Dinah Rose QC sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, considered the case, she found: (i) there was no evidence of a deterioration in behaviour that would indicate an increased risk of harm, he was acting in a way the Parole Board predicted he may well do; (ii) there was a failure to consider if recall was necessary and whether instead the Claimant could have been moved; (iii) there was a failure to consider the stress which the Claimant was under due to his diagnosis. She allowed the claim and quashed the decision to recall.

Mr Justice Holgate awarded the Claimant £4000 damages for 33 days unlawful detention.

Philip Rule secured the interim relief on behalf of Mr Goldsworthy. Ian Brownhill appeared at the judicial review hearing and secured damages for the Claimant. Philip and Ian were instructed by Kesar & Co solicitors.

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