5 Essex Court

News

19 Oct 18 Back to Listing

Griffiths v Suffolk Police: Suffolk Police successfully defend negligence and Article 2 claims

In Griffiths v Suffolk Police Jeremy Johnson QC (instructed by Weightmans) acted for the Chief Constable of Suffolk Police in a claim arising out of the murder of Mary Griffiths in May 2009.

On the night of the murder Mary Griffiths called the police and reported that she was being harassed by John McFarlane. A response was arranged for that evening but was then re-arranged for the following day. McFarlane attended at Mary Griffiths’ home that night and shot her with a bolt gun.

A claim was brought against the police in negligence and under Article 2. An application to strike out the negligence claim was conceded. The Article 2 claim went to trial and was heard over 9 days. Suffolk Police chose to call no evidence and relied on the content of the calls, arguing that the Osman threshold for engagement of Article 2 had not been reached. In a lengthy judgment given on 10 October 2018 the claim was dismissed: [2018] EWHC 2538 (QB). A claim against an NHS Trust was also dismissed.