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Mentally ill man detained for 838 days awarded £100,000 compensation

Mentally ill man detained for 838 days awarded £100,000 compensation

A mentally ill Iranian man who was kept in immigration detention for 838 days in total has secured £100,000 in compensation from the Home Office. The test case concerning a man known as AKE was settled in the High Court today, according to Garden Court Chambers, whose barristers acted in the case instructed by Bhatt Murphy solicitors.

Hamish Arnott of Bhatt Murphy said:

It was only by luck that AKE obtained legal assistance toward the end of nearly three years of immigration detention. Without the intervention of a charity, he would have languished in detention for an even longer period, unable to access the help he desperately needed. AKE is yet another example of the need to impose clear statutory limits and criteria on this draconian power.

AKE suffers from bipolar affective disorder with psychotic symptoms and post traumatic stress disorder. The order for settlement records that he was detained for a total of 838 days over several years, from 1 December 2015 to 11 July 2016 and again from 19 October 2016 to 25 June 2018.

Instead of getting him treatment for his mental illness, the Home Office used segregation to manage his disturbed behaviour. AKE’s mental health deteriorated in immigration detention. He was eventually sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but only after release from detention.

Stephanie Harrison QC, Shu Shin Luh and Anthony Vaughan of Garden Court, writing on the chambers website, also record that “on discharge from hospital, the Home Office imposed bail conditions on AKE even though they had no lawful power to do so and he continued to lack mental capacity to understand and comply with them”.

The settlement does mean the legal issues in the case will not now be thrashed out in court. The Court of Appeal has repeatedly held that he immigration detention system discriminates against migrants with mental health conditions, in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

CJ McKinney is Free Movement's editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering pitches. CJ is an adviser on legal and policy matters to the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, and keeps up with the wider legal world as a contributor to Legal Cheek. Twitter: @mckinneytweets.