Our sectors

To:
postbox@leighday.co.uk
Show Site Navigation

Disabled prisoner receives substantial compensation

A severely disabled prisoner has received compensation after he was confined to a series of hospital wings after adaptations were not made to his cell

26 February 2018

A disabled prisoner has received substantial compensation from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) following the settlement of his case alleging that he was being unlawfully discriminated against.

The prisoner, known as ‘Mr H’ to protect his anonymity, is paralysed from the waist down meaning he has significant disability needs but can care for himself with the appropriate adaptations.

Despite this, and for a period of over four years, Mr H had been located in a cell on the healthcare wings of all three jails he had been imprisoned at.

A healthcare wing is usually a wing that is separate from the other parts of the prison and which houses those prisoners who are suffering from serious illness.

Mr H’s location to a healthcare wing meant he was prevented from being part of the general prison population and spent the majority of his time with very sick prisoners, some of which were undergoing drug withdrawal, while others were self-harming or close to death.

The isolation Mr H experienced also prevented him from being able to access the mainstream facilities and activities of the prisons, including work, education, gym and the library.

Despite repeated attempts by Mr H to request a cell on a normal residential wing he was repeatedly told that none were available that would meet his disability needs without being adapted but no adaptations were ever made. This left Mr H feeling isolated and distressed by his situation.

A claim was brought on behalf of Mr H against the MoJ under the Equality Act 2010 alleging that he was being unlawfully discriminated against. It was argued that, as a disabled person, the MoJ had a duty to make adaptations to a cell on a residential wing so that he could be part of the general prison population and access the same mainstream facilities and activities as the majority of other inmates. It was argued that the failure to comply with this duty caused injury to his feelings.

The claim was successfully settled earlier this month with the MoJ transferring Mr H to a prison with an available adapted cell on a residential wing and agreeing to pay him substantial compensation.

Benjamin Burrows, who leads the Prison Law Team at law firm Leigh Day, said: "Every person with a disability, irrespective of their background or current situation, should have access to the same rights as every able-bodied person and I am pleased that we have been able to assist in this matter and put in place the right support for this man."

Mr H was represented by Benjamin Burrows, a solicitor at Leigh Day, and by Adam Straw, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers. His case was funded by the Legal Aid Agency.

 



Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Share this page: Print this page

Let us call you back at a convenient time

Send us your question and we'll reply shortly

We will only use your details for this request, they will not be used for any marketing. Read our privacy policy for more information.

    More information