The High Court, Queen’s Bench Division
Upper Tribunal Judge Plimmer
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
On an application by the Claimant
Following consideration of the documents lodged by the Claimant
ORDER by Upper Tribunal Judge Plimmer sitting as a Judge of the High Court
1. The application to stay proceedings until 25.1.22 is refused.
2. Pursuant to CPR 39.2, the Claimant is granted anonymity and shall be referred to (including in the title of the action henceforth) as “AZE”. This order prohibits the publication directly or indirectly (including by the parties) of the identity of the Claimant. There shall be no publication of her name or address or any other particulars or still or moving image likely to lead to her identification, without leave of the court. Any such publication in breach of this order may amount to a contempt of court. Pursuant to CPR 5.4C, no documents containing information that could identify the Claimant shall be supplied from court records to persons who are not parties to the action. This order shall remain in force unless revoked or varied by a court.
3. Costs reserved.
1. The Claimant has applied for permission to challenge the Defendant’s alleged ongoing failure to carry out a lawful investigation into the alleged rapes she reported and the decision to refuse to reopen the investigation including a decision dated 26.7.21, in which the Claimant’s request for a formal review under the Victim’s Right to Review Scheme was refused.
2. A pre-action letter was not sent until 4.10.21 (requesting a response by 19.10.21). On 19.10.21 the Defendant sought an extension to provide a pre-action response to 5.11.21. The claim form was lodged on 25.10.21 on a ‘protective basis’, together with a draft consent order signed by both parties that there be a stay of proceedings to 25.1.22, to enable the parties to engage in pre-action correspondence.
3. It is regrettable that the claimant’s solicitors did not send the pre-action letter until 4.10.21, in the light of the claimant’s duty to act promptly. No reasons for this delay have been provided. Although the Defendant wrote to the court on 4.11.21 inviting the court to approve the draft consent order, there has been no explanation provided as to why: (i) further ‘pre-action’ or other correspondence is necessary; (ii) in any event, why the Defendant has been able to provide a pre-action response by 5.11.21, as previously anticipated; (iii) the Defendant requires further time beyond 24.11.21 to file an AoS. In these circumstances, a stay is refused.
4. On the basis that the Claimant claims to be a victim of rape and appears to be vulnerable, I consider it appropriate to make an anonymity order to protect her interests. An order will not prejudice the Defendant or otherwise interfere with the just disposition of this case, and the limited intrusion on the important principle of open justice is justified in the circumstances. This anonymity order has been made on the basis of limited information and if considered appropriate, an application may be made to set aside or vary the order.