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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
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Cite as:  EWCA 2922 (QB)
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Claim no: HQ11X04427
QUEENS BENCH DIVISION
B e f o r e :
SITTING AS A DEPUTY JUDGE OF THE HIGH COURT
| BIANCA DURRANT
|CHIEF CONSTABLE OF AVON AND SOMERSET CONSTABULARY
(Corrected 3 September 2014)
Crown Copyright ©
(i) at 2.30am, the incident at the taxi rank, the arrest of the Claimant, and the arrest of Lisa Putterill and Mr Allen
(ii) the holding cell at 3.38am and following, (the Claimant having arrived at the police station at 3.10am), and
(iii) the police station custody area, in this case with sound, from shortly before the presentation of the Claimant to the custody sergeant and then for some 45 minutes thereafter, from 4.01am.
"Overtly its Professional Standards Department carried out official investigations into my complaints against arresting police officers…. and of misconduct towards me of racial discrimination, unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, unnecessary and excessive force, human rights abuses, unlawful treatment of a female suspect in custody in a police station and abusive and arbitrary prosecution and my criminal complaints against taxi marshalls Daniel Breeze and John Fagin .. … while covertly [emphasis supplied] it allowed its senior police officers of the Professional Standards Department to carry out an unlawful sinister racial victimisation campaign against me with the sole corrupt intention and purpose to criminalise me and legitimise the knowingly unlawful actions under statute law of taxi marshalls Daniel Breeze and John Fagin to myself and my accompanying white female friend Lisa Putterill, to corruptly cover up police officers' unlawful actions against me in the arrest and detention by legitimising them in an unlawful biased false prejudicial investigation which the investigating officer Inspector Andrew Jackson unlawfully and falsely prejudged me as guilty before conviction … and in the second unlawful and biased false investigation the senior investigating police officer Chief Inspector Norman Pascal appointed himself as the new Lord Chief Justice presiding over his own Supreme Kangaroo Court of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary to contemptuously overrule the lawful judicial ruling of the criminal court of law in my prosecution trial…" (skeleton argument of the Claimant for trial in July 2014 at paragraphs 43 and 44).
"(1) It is unlawful for a public authority in carrying out any functions of the authority to do any act which constitutes discrimination".
The functions of a police force are functions of a public nature and therefore the police force is a "public authority" within the meaning of section 19B (see section 19B(2)).
"Exceptions from 19B for decisions not to prosecute etc.
Section 19B does not apply to – (a) a decision not to institute criminal proceedings and, where such a decision has been made, any act done for the purpose of enabling the decision whether to institute criminal proceedings to be made".
"as in all Article 3 cases, the treatment, to be proscribed, must achieve a minimum standard of severity, and I would accept that in a context such as this, not involving the deliberate infliction of pain or suffering, the threshold is a high one".
In Ireland –v- UK (see above) it was referred to as
"intense physical or mental suffering" and "the techniques were also degrading since they were such as to arouse in their victims feelings of fear, anguish and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing them and possibly breaking their physical or moral resistance".
In R (Daniel Roque Hall) –v- UCL Hostels NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 198, it was stated,
"absent physical injury, it requires such severity that undermines or has a significant adverse impact on the personality or will of the individual, or some impact akin to that".
I note that in Beganovic –v- Croatia (Application 46423/06, 25.06.09), "treatment has been held by the Court to be "inhuman" because, inter alia, it was premeditated, was applied for hours at a stretch, and cause either actual bodily injury or intense physical and mental suffering".
"…. It is important to mark that it is not the role of this Court to assess whether the care provided to the Claimant at the prison fell short of the optimal or even a reasonable standard; our role is merely to determine whether we are satisfied that the treatment he received breached his human rights." [The Court reminded itself that Article 3] "was drafted in the shadow of the atrocities of the Second World War" (paragraph 26).
"That of course does not mean that complaints that fall short of this high threshold must go unconsidered; there are ways in which they can be addressed including…… by way of complaint to the Prisons Ombudsman" (paragraph 26).
"From this line of authority I derive the following principles in the context of the present case. (1) In certain circumstances a court may be entitled to draw adverse inferences from the absence or silence of a witness who might be expected to have material evidence to give on an issue in an action. (2) If a court is willing to draw such inferences they may go to strengthen the evidence adduced on that issue by the other party or to weaken the evidence if any adduced by the party who might reasonably have been expected to call the witness. (3) There must however have been some evidence, however weak, adduced by the former on the matter in question before the court is entitled to draw the desired inference: in other words there must be a case to answer on that issue. (4) If the reason for the witness's absence or silence satisfies the court then no such adverse inference may be drawn. If, on the other hand, there is some credible explanation given, even if it is not wholly satisfactory, the potentially detrimental effect of his/her absence or silence may be reduced or nullified".
Handed down 29 August 2014
His Honour Judge Seys Llewellyn, QC sitting as an additional judge of the High Court, in respect of matters other than the claim under the Race Relations Act 1976, and as to that claim in the County Court sitting at London.
The court has received in the last 48 hours a number of e-mails from Miss Durrant. She complains that judgment was not handed down within 48 hours of being sent to the parties and she complains that this has been done at the behest of the Defendant or its representatives.
The full written judgment was circulated to both parties on 13 August 2014, for correction of typographical or obvious error. The case was listed for handing down of judgment on 15 August 2014 at 2pm. The court received reply from Mr Payne counsel for the Defendant but no reply was received from Miss Durrant.
Counsel for the Defendant requested by e-mail that handing down of judgment should be delayed until after 8 September 2014, in order that his solicitors should have the opportunity to consider any such corrections.
On 15 August 2014 on that date I chose to defer handing down judgment, because no reply had been received from Ms Durrant. I was conscious that she was a litigant in person and others could not deal with this matter for her if she was away. Until handed down, the judgment remains confidential to the parties and their representatives, as here. The Practice Direction allows only a short time to the parties to consider and make any suggested corrections but that may be varied by the judge. I did so vary the period, in this case, principally with Ms Durrant's interests in mind, directing that the handing down of judgment be deferred for 7 days. I declined the request of the Defendant for a longer extension to 8 September 2014.
After 15 August 2014 I was on annual leave. A full written judgment can be handed down, in the absence of the parties, and if necessary on behalf of the judge by another judge. Judgment has not been handed down by another judge. I returned from leave yesterday 28 August 2014. Since I am satisfied from her e-mails that Ms Durrant has received the written judgment, I hand judgment down today.
29 August 2014 His Honour Judge Seys Llewellyn, QC
Since the handing down of judgment, Miss Durrant has pointed out typographical error in that "30 June" has been transposed for "13 June" 2009. She is correct and that is so, up to paragraph 47, the date being thereafter correctly described in the judgment as 13 June 2009. I am grateful and I have accordingly corrected the judgment.
3 September 2014
His Honour Judge Seys Llewellyn, QC