In this decision, Nicholas Paines QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, accepted the Claimant’s claim that he had been unlawfully detained. The Claimant argued that his detention became unlawful as a result of the Defendant’s mental health, and in particular the failure to provide him with his medication. The Judge accepted that the Claimant’s detention was unlawful, but not for the reasons advanced by the Claimant. Rather, the Judge agreed with the Defendant that the correct approach was to assess the Defendant’s ongoing decisions to detain by reference to the policy, namely Chapter 55 of the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance. Applying that policy, the Defendant had failed to make adequate inquiries regarding the Claimant’s mental health over a period of his detention. As a result, his detention was unlawful for 40 days. The Judge rejected the Defendant’s argument that only nominal damages were due, on the basis that the Defendant had failed to establish, on the balance of the probabilities, that if the correct inquiries had been made the Defendant would have been detained in any event.
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