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Home Office ordered to pay over £100,000 compensation for false imprisonment (8 July 2020)

Date: 08/07/2020
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Home Office ordered to pay over £100,000 compensation for false imprisonment

The County Court has determined that the Home Office must pay our client £106,840 in compensation for a period of false imprisonment amounting to 13 months and two weeks which equates to 410 days.

In the court’s previous judgment in January 2020, the court determined the following:

  1. The initial three months that the Claimant spent in immigration detention were lawful, however when approved premises became available on 19 July 2017, the Claimant should have been released and from this date until his release on 3 September 2018, the Claimant’s detention was unlawful under Hardial Singh ground (ii).

  2. The Claimant’s detention was also unlawful for an additional two month period within the above time period because it was apparent that the Claimant could be deported within a reasonable period (Hardial Singh ground (iii)). During this particular timeframe, Her Majesty’s Coroner had asked the Home Office not to deport the Claimant on the basis that he could be an important witness to the death of his friend in Brook House IRC.

  3. While in immigration detention, the Claimant suffered from moderately severe PTSD. His detention was the cause or the main cause of this condition. He also underwent a moderate depressive episode while in immigration detention. This was also caused by his immigration detention.

The County Court today decided the following:

  1. The Claimant should be awarded a total of £106,840 in damages. This could be broken down to £70,000 in basic damages (mainly due to the length of time he spent in detention), £33,000 for personal injury (mainly accounting for detention being the cause of his PTSD) and £3,840 in special damages to pay for the necessary treatment for PTSD and depression.

  2. The Defendant should pay 100% of the Claimant’s costs. The Defendant argued that we should only be awarded 60% of our costs as we did not win on every ground. However, the judge made it clear that costs are not determined on the basis of winning every single point raised but should be judged on the basis of who is the ‘successful’ party. In this case, he said that the Claimant had set out to be substantially compensated for his false imprisonment and on this point, he was undeniably successful.


Public law caseworker Georgia Banks handled this case after taking over from former public law solicitor Rebecca Carr in October 2019. Counsel was David Sellwood of Garden Court Chambers.

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