Fri, 26 Nov 2021
In R(Bousfield) v Parole Board  EWHC 3160 (Admin), Stuart Withers led by Ian Brownhill (of 39 Essex Chambers) argued that the Parole Board made a number of errors when it approached the consideration of the Claimant’s recall. The Claimant was an extended sentenced prisoner, recalled in the extension period of his licence.
It was argued that: (a) the Panel had failed to apply the correct legal test in refusing his release, (b) it has misdirected itself as to the meaning of serious harm, (c) there was no evidence of serious harm and (d) there was procedural unfairness as the Panel had failed to ask questions about the Claimant’s release plan.
Mr Justice Lane agreed with Stuart and Ian’s argument and quashed the Parole Board’s decision.
The judgment highlights the need for the Parole Board to properly apply the presumption of release in extended sentence cases, where a prisoner is in the extension period of their licence. Additionally it highlights that there must be evidence to justify the Parole Board finding that a prisoner poses a risk of serious harm.