The High Court has awarded damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages, against Tascor Services Ltd, for the actions of immigration removal officers in seeking to remove the claimant from the UK.
The court held that Tascor had acted without instructions from the Home Office in seeking to effect an unlawful removal and that its officers had used excessive force in doing so. The court held that in several respects the conduct of Tascor was an “outrageous” abuse of power. Mr Justice Walker held, inter alia:
“there were features of the techniques adopted by the escorts, techniques which according to the evidence were regularly adopted by [Tascor] staff, and the approach to the requirements of the 2010 Services Agreement, which taken together can properly be described as outrageous. I have already expressed my concern about the use of handcuffs incorporating a pain control mechanism in circumstances where this could and did easily go wrong. This was contrary to the 2010 Services Agreement, … A second and serious breach of the 2010 Services Agreement was the flagrant disregard of the express prohibition in that agreement of the use of any head restraint.”
“As to the method by which Mr Wamala was dragged into the van, I accept the submissions on behalf of Mr Wamala that the CCTV footage of this is shocking. Mr Wamala is crying out in pain. He is being shouted at by the escorts, but appears plainly incapable of getting up. At one stage an escort pulls Mr Wamala into the van by the rear of his trousers. At this stage the handcuffs had not been double locked and thus must have been digging into Mr Wamala’s wrists. The experience for Mr Wamala was both painful and degrading.”
This was the first case of its kind against the use of force by immigration escort officers and is likely to influence law and policy in this area.
Tom Hickman represented the claimant
Instructed by Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors.
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For a copy of the judgment, please click here.