Tuesday 20 – Wednesday 21 June 2023
On 11 August 2022, Asplin LJ made a composite order granting the First Defendant (G4S Healthcare Ltd), Third Defendant (Devon Partnership NHS Trust) and the Fourth Defendant (Devon County Council) permission to appeal on all grounds the order of Garnham J dated 20 May 2022, sitting in the Queen’s Bench Division (as it then was), whereby he dismissed the applications of the First, Third and Fourth Defendants to strike out the Claimant (C) common law claim made on the grounds it was barred by the doctrine of illegality, and made consequential costs orders.
Case concerns the application of the illegality defence to a claim for damages brought by a C who was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity (NGRI) by the criminal court. Said to be the first time the issue has come before this Court.
C killed three people on 10 February 2019. C , who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis, was found NGRI pursuant to s2(1) Trial of Lunatics Act 1883, of three counts of murder. He is detained in hospital.
C issued a claim against G4S Health Services Ltd (D1), The Chief Constable of Devon & Cornwall Police (D2), the Trust (D3) and Devon County Council (D4), all of whom had dealings with C shortly before the commission of the murders, alleging they were negligent in their treatment of him over 8-10 February 2019.
Inter alia, he claims general damages for personal injury, loss of liberty and loss of reputation, past loss of earnings, future losses and an indemnity against any claims brought against C by reason of his violence against others. He also claims for breaches of the HRA 1988.