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England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> Richards v Investigatory Powers Tribunal & Ors  EWHC 560 (QB) (24 March 2017)
Cite as:  EWHC 560 (QB)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| Mandy Richards
|- and -
|Investigatory Powers Tribunal
Undercover Policing Inquiry
Department of Health
Homerton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Whittington Hospital NHS Trust
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Guys and St Thomas' Hospital Foundation Trust
Kings College Hospital Trust
Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust
UK Power Network Ltd
Thames Water Utilities Ltd
Sarah Hannett (instructed by Government Legal Department) for the 1st Defendant
Emma Gargitter (instructed by Undercover Policing Inquiry) for the 2nd Defendant
Liam Duffy (instructed by Metropolitan Police Legal Services) for the 3rd Defendant
Desmond Kilcoyne (instructed by Hackney Legal Services) for the 6th Defendant
Emma Dring (instructed by Government Legal Department) for the 7th Defendant
Daniel Goodkin (instructed by Royal Mail Group Legal Department) for the 9th Defendant
Sam Phillips (instructed by Peabody Legal Department) for the 10th Defendant
Andrew Bershadski (instructed by Bevan Brittan) for the 13th-18th Defendants
David Heaton (instructed by Virgin Media Legal Department) for the 19th Defendant
Ian Helme (instructed by UK Power Networks Ltd) for the 20th Defendant
K. Radley-Davies (instructed by Npower Ltd Legal Department) for the 21st Defendant
David Dabbs (instructed by Pitmans LLP) for the 22nd Defendant
Hearing date: 14th March 2017
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Nicol :
'I have for over 18 months asked the Police and others where specifically appropriate to their agency, to look into the reported incidents as they have occurred pertaining to malicious and unlawful interception, monitoring and manipulation of my communications and activities, unethical sharing of information, disruption to my personal and professional and political life, home intrusions, car tampering, electrical tampering, bike tampering and domestic disturbances resulting in a potentially lethal risk of harm to my person and to my health.'
i) Paragraph 2.2 - which referred to an Election Petition which she had brought. It seems that she stood as a candidate in the London Assembly elections. Her petition to the Election Court was unsuccessful. She is seeking judicial review of that decision.
ii) Paragraph 2.4 which referred to complaints she had made to various bodies.
iii) Paragraph 2.5 which said she believed the interferences were due to her political, media and union activities.
iv) Paragraph 2.6 which again referred to her Election Petition.
v) Paragraph 2.7 which referred to the Cleveland case of unlawful surveillance by the police of journalists.
Ms Richards put in a lever arch file of evidence on which she wished to rely.
1st Defendant – Investigatory Powers Tribunal ('IPT')
2nd Defendant - Undercover Policing Inquiry ('UCPI')
Third Defendant – Metropolitan Police Commissioner ('MPC')
i) He says that the Claimant had reported a fraud allegation. It was discovered that someone with the same name and date of birth as the Claimant had taken out a life insurance policy. The Claimant had been told about this policy in error. Scottish Widows apologised and paid the Claimant £500 in compensation. The investigation was closed.
ii) She had also reported a poisoning incident or incidents. Blood tests conducted by the NHS were normal. The police did not accept that she had been poisoned. It was understood that she had had her blood tested privately which showed slightly raised levels of mercury but still within the normal range. She had also reported to the police that her wine had been poisoned. The testing did not confirm this.
iii) She had made a complaint about interception of her electronic communications. The complaint was not upheld. She appealed but the appeal was dismissed by the Directorate of Professional Standards on 17th January 2017.
Sixth Defendant - Hackney Borough Council ('Hackney')
7th Defendant - the Army
9th Defendant – Royal Mail
10th Defendant - Peabody
'Peabody – management and freeholding agency of Albion Road apartments – failure to fully investigate reports, claims and complaints: Request full and comprehensive investigation to be conducted into home intrusions, car tampering, electrical tampering and domestic disturbances resulting in potentially lethal risk of harm to my person and to my health. Full disclosure of any use and activity in the Albion Road apartments other than for private domestic dwelling with specific response to the issue of any of the agencies named as respondents here commandeering property for monitoring or surveillance activity; investigation into the background employment profile of all residents to ascertain the commissioning of this activity and to determine sources of actual and potential risk of harm; direct investigative inquiry and response regarding each of the named individuals submitted as suspected perpetrators of the reported incidents; acknowledgement of harm caused and damages warranted.'
13th – 18th Defendants - Homerton, Whittington, UCLH, Guys and St Thomas', King's College, and Royal Free Hospitals ('the Hospitals')
'13. Homerton Hospital – adverse effects of transvaginal and urethra consultation and treatment leading to immediate and serious episode of DVT
14. Whittington Hospital – contraceptive coil being fitted without the Claimant's knowledge or consent
15. UCLH – Blood Urine and diagnostic consultation test failings
16. Guys and St Thomas' Hospital – toxicology consultation complaints, inaccurate recording of discussion and demonstration of presenting symptoms and causes in toxicology and A&E Departments
17. King's College Hospital – blood, urine and diagnostic consultation test failings
18. Royal Free Hospital – failure to identify and re-test for DVTs following initial scanning of severely swollen legs and ankles.'
19th Defendant – Virgin Media ('Virgin')
20th Defendant - UK Power Networks Ltd ('UKPNL')
21st Defendant – Npower Ltd ('Npower')
22nd Defendant – Thames Water Utilities Ltd ('Thames Water')
'Request full and immediate independently commissioned investigation into any environmental pollutants affecting the water supply to [Ms Richards' flat] Albion Road, urgent initiation of detailed monitoring and assessment of pollutants over an agreed time period with particular attention paid to presence of all heavy metal traces and/or biological contaminants; acknowledgment of harm caused and damages warranted.'
The Claimant's application to set aside the order of Jeremy Baker J. striking out her claim against MI5 and MI6, certifying it as totally without merit and making ECROs in their favour
i) Articles 2 and 3: there is no properly arguable claim that any of the defendants have exposed Ms Richards to a threat to her life or ill-treatment within Article 3. There is no properly arguable claim that any positive obligation to her under these provisions has been breached or that there has been an arguable breach of any of the implied investigatory duties.
ii) Article 6: Article 6 has not been infringed. Ms Richards has had a sufficient opportunity to make submissions in opposition to the defendants' applications and in support of her own application to set aside Jeremy Baker J's order. The guarantee in Article 6 is consistent with the power of the court to strike out claims that are not reasonably arguable or are an abuse of process of the court. Likewise, the imposition of an ECRO is compatible with Article 6.
iii) Article 8: there is no arguable interference with the Claimant's right to respect for her home or private life. Any such interference as there may have been is not arguably disproportionate.
iv) Article 10: the Claimant's freedom of expression has not been arguably interfered with by any of the defendants.
v) Article 14: there is no reasonably arguable case that the Claimant has been discriminated against, still less that any such discrimination has been on one of the grounds referred to in Article 14.