I joined Irwin Mitchell in January 2022, having trained and then practiced at other firms specialising in human rights and cases against the police.
I advise clients who are looking to make a complaint or pursue a civil claim against the police or other public agencies. I also advise those whose loved ones have died in custody or following state involvement. I can also advise on challenging state decisions.
I advise clients seeking compensation following police mistreatment, as well as on cases against other state authorities, such as prisons and healthcare providers. My clients have often been the victim of an unlawful arrest, and cases can include false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, discrimination, and claims under the Human Rights Act.
For example, I have advised clients in cases such as:
- A claim for damages for a young man who was unlawfully arrested and assaulted by police officers, including the use of incapacitant spray (‘pepper spray’).
- Claims for malicious prosecution where individuals are prosecuted for offences not because they are guilty, but as officers attempted to discredit their complaints or to cover up their own wrongdoing.
- Seeking justice where police officers pursue inappropriate relationships with vulnerable victims of crime.
I have acted for clients who have sustained complex and serious physical and psychiatric injuries. I am equipped to advise where an individual’s ability to continue work has been affected, and where future care or treatment will be required.
I represent family members in inquests arising from their loved ones’ deaths in custody, such as in prison or following arrest or detention by police officers. These are usually referred to as ‘Article 2’ inquests, as they concern the right to life under the Human Rights Act. I also have experience advising where there are concerns about other public authorities, such as social services or mental health trusts. Such cases have involved a variety of issues, including:
- Whether the police use of firearms was lawful
- Whether police should have taken an individual to hospital, rather than attempting to take him to the police station
- Police restraint in the context of Acute Behavioural Disturbance
- Where someone in prison should have been subject to regular checks overnight, given reasons for concern about their wellbeing
- Whether the appropriate decisions were taken when someone was under the care of an eating disorders service.
Families need to be able to fully engage with the investigation and have their concerns addressed. Going through an inquest is incredibly difficult and personal for bereaved families, and I work hard to adapt how I work to each family’s needs.
Challenging State Decisions
Where a public body makes an unlawful decision, I can advise on challenging this. For example, a decision by the police or the CPS not to prosecute a suspect, or an unreasonable decision by the IOPC or a police force following a police complaint or disciplinary hearing. This can involve making a claim for Judicial Review.
I’m passionate about upholding the rights of women and seeking justice when individuals who are vulnerable to abuse or discrimination are let down by the state. I challenge decisions not to prosecute on behalf of survivors of rape and sexual violence through the Victim’s Right to Review schemes and, if necessary, through Judicial Review.