Robert Talalay successfully appears for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis in the Administrative Court resisting a judicial review seeking to quash a caution

The Claimant (M) had been the victim of an assault from another woman in McDonald’s. After the fight had been stopped by staff, M stepped outside. Returning a few minutes later, M walked over to where her assailant was restrained on the floor and kicked her in the face, all of which was clearly captured on CCTV. M attended the police station as a victim but was there arrested for ABH. It was noted on the PNC that the assailant had suffered serious injuries of a lost tooth, a split lip and a broken nose. The Claimant was re-arrested for GBH. The force medical examiner had not noted these injuries in the medical form for the assailant but instead commented that she had a bloody nose, abrasions to her lip and bruising. M admitted the offence in interview: the only disclosure of medical information was the original information and not the doctor’s report. She later requested further medical information and was refused.

In due course, with legal advice, she accepted a caution for ABH. M argued that there had been a breach of the MoJ Guidance by failing to provide her with further medical information on request and that she had been unlawfully induced into accepting a caution.

Supperstone J held that (1) the MoJ Guidance required that the police provide ‘evidence’ not specific documents; (2) the information provided was mostly accurate and adequate in light of all the evidence held by the police apart from the fact that there was no broken nose, that single inaccuracy not amounting to a clear breach of the guidance; (3) A caution can properly be offered for a lesser offence even if the police are considering charging or prosecuting for a more serious offence, (4) that M thought that she might be at risk of more serious punishment if she contested a charge of ABH and was convicted was irrelevant; and (5) the case was not an exceptional one to require a quashing order.

A copy of the judgment can be found here.

Robert Talalay acted on behalf of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.