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Edwin Buckett establishes liability in a claim against the Ministry of Justice

News | Wed 31st Jul, 2019

The Claimant was a Prison Officer at HMP Winchester, who responded to an alarm call which concerned two fighting prisoners. The prisoners were separated and the Claimant held one of them on the ground, whilst the other prisoner backed off along the corridor of the Wing. Three other Prison Officers failed to restrain and contain that prisoner, allowing him to force his way back towards the prisoner on the ground (and the Claimant who was attached to him). The unrestrained prisoner then picked up a metal chair and smashed it onto the Claimant causing severe injuries which ended his career as a Prison Officer.

A two day liability only trial proceeded before His Honour Judge Saunders at Central London County Court, concluding on the 30th July, 2019 with the Claimant securing full judgment against the MOJ who were responsible for the other Prison Officers and the prison.

The Judge concluded that the Claimant was in a vulnerable position, on the ground, with a prisoner who was also a “magnet” to the unrestrained prisoner. He held that the remaining Prison Officers should have used full Control and Restraint techniques, as per their training, to prevent the prisoner from re-engaging in the fight.

The MOJ made no offers to settle the claim and were ordered to pay indemnity costs and interest on costs, following offers to settle by the Claimant pre-trial.

Edwin was instructed by Vincent Reynolds of Thompsons (London) on behalf of the Prisoner Officers Association, for the Claimant.

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