False imprisonment after bail errors

False Imprisonment by prison authorities

Our client was arrested for an offence and granted bail by the Crown Court. A condition of his bail was that he should surrender his passport. His passport was duly delivered to a police station but the prison still refused to release him.  They stated that he was on an” immigration hold”.  We contacted the Home Office who confirmed that there was no hold on our client and this information was passed to the prison but he was still not released until he had spent a night  in prison.

Our client was later arrested again for breaching his bail.  A new bail application was made and granted on the same terms as before.  Once more our client was not released from prison. The prison, which was different from the first one, said they were waiting for confirmation that the passport had been surrendered even though this had been done on the first grant of bail.  He spent a further night in prison. We advised that his detention had been unlawful as he had been grated bail and fulfilled all the conditions.

We wrote to the home office requesting payment of:

  1. Damages for false imprisonment.
  2. Damages for breach section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  3. Payment of our client’s costs

Our client was paid nearly £2000 and his costs for the short time he was held unlawfully.

Prisoners can only be held on a valid warrant of committal.  Mistakes by the authorities, even genuine ones,  will not excuse their liability to pay damages for false imprisonment.


Laura O’Brien did this case

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