5 Essex Court

Russell Fortt

Call 1999

Police Law

Russell has been involved in high profile and significant cases with a police law element (including some prison cases) including assault, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, human trafficking, Freedom of Information Act and policy matters.  Notable examples include:

Coghlan v (1) Chief Constable of Cheshire (2) Chief Constable of Greater Manchester (3) Director General of the National Crime Agency [2018] EWHC 34 (QB) – Represented the Director General of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in a summary judgment/strike out application of claims brought by a man who was arrested and prosecuted for an alleged murder of Stephen Akinyemi who was shot dead by the Claimant in the Claimant’s own home.  In 2016, the coroner at the inquest (in which Russell was also instructed to represent the NCA)) found that the Claimant had acted in reasonable self-defence.  The Claimant brought claims in false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance against all three defendants which were struck out/summary judgment given in the NCA’s favour at a two-day hearing.

Adebolajo v Ministry of Justice [2017] EWHC 3568 (QB) - Instructed by the Ministry of Justice in a claim for damages for battery of the Claimant, who was one of the notorious Islamic extremist killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby. 

Godfrey v Chief Constable of Kent [2017]- Instructed by Kent Police in appeal proceedings before the High Court (William Davis J).  Successfully struck out the appeal and obtained a general civil restraint order against a persistent and vexatious litigant.

R (on the application of Demetrio v (1) IPCC (2) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Interested Party) (3) Harrington (Interested Party) [2015] EWCA Civ 1248 – instructed by the IPCC (unled before the Divisional Court [2015] EWHC 593 (Admin) & led by Jason Beer QC before the Court of Appeal).  The case concerned a challenge to a decision by the IPCC to re-open an investigation after concerns were highlighted that the original decision was not one that was supported by the evidence.  

Chief Constable of Leicestershire Constabulary v DPP [2015] - instructed by East Midlands Police Legal Services (led by Jason Beer QC), advised and acted for Leicestershire Police in a proposed challenge by way of judicial review of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision of 14th April 2015 not to commence criminal proceedings against Lord Janner of Braunstone QC (who by then was suffering from dementia) in respect of historic child sex abuse allegations. On 29th June 2015 the DPP announced that such proceedings would in fact be brought.

Isaacs v (1) Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2) Dunn (3) Carroll [2013] EWHC 4157 (QB); [2013] All ER (D) 257 Oct – Represented the Commissioner in a race discrimination, trespass, harassment, blackmail, misfeasance in public office, defamation, assault and false imprisonment claim in the High Court (Dingemans J).  

R (on application of Chief Constable of Durham) v PAT and Cooper [2012] EWHC 2733 (Admin) – Acted for Durham Constabulary in a judicial review challenge to the decision of the PAT to reinstate a police officer who had previously been sacked by a misconduct panel who found that he had sexually assaulted a women whom he had arrested.  The central issue was whether the Wednesbury test applied to the decision of the misconduct panel.

R (on the application of Danny Nightingale) v West Mercia Police (CO/6292/12) – Instructed by West Mercia Police in a judicial review challenge by a serving member of the SAS Regiment to a decision to refer the investigation into his possession of a firearm and ammunition to the SIB branch of the Military Police rather than to prosecute the matter through the CPS as a civilian prosecution.

R (on the application of LA Group Ltd) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (CO/8995/2012) – Instructed by the Metropolitan Police in a judicial review challenging the decision by the police to classify an investigation into alleged fraud by former Minister, Stephen Dorrell MP as ‘no crime’ and thereafter to decline to investigate further.

R (on the application of Hicks and Others) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2012] EWHC 1947 (Admin) – Acted for the Commissioner in one of the joined cases (Middleton and Lewis) in a five-day judicial review before the Divisional Court. The case concerned a challenge to the policing practices at the Royal Wedding.   Successfully argued that a search warrant executed at an environmental protest camp near Heathrow airport in the lead up to the wedding had not been improperly motivated and was not obtained unlawfully.

R (on the application of Perinpanathan) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2010] EWCA Civ 40; [2010] 1 WLR  1508 - Acted for the Commissioner in both the Divisional Court [2009] EWHC 762 (Admin) and in the Court of Appeal (unled in the Divisional Court & led by Sir Geoffery Nice QC) in the leading case on the application of costs principles to police proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court. Successfully argued that the principles which were applicable in licensing cases as set out in City of Bradford MDC v Booth [2000] were of equal application to forfeiture proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.