Jeremy Johnson QC, Charlotte Ventham and Catriona Hodge successfully appear for the Metropolitan Police Service in Daniel Morgan litigation.
Judgment was given in the High Court on 17 February 2017 in the case of Rees and others v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. Mr Justice Mitting dismissed the claims of Jonathan Rees, Glenn Vian and Garry Vian who alleged that they had been victims of a malicious prosecution brought in connection with the murder of Daniel Morgan. Jeremy Johnson QC, Charlotte Ventham and Catriona Hodge represented the Defendant Commissioner.
Four men had brought claims for malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office and false imprisonment following the collapse of criminal proceedings in March 2011. They had been prosecuted for (or in connection with) the murder of Daniel Morgan in 1987. Relying in part upon findings made in those proceedings that the senior investigating officer had mishandled a prosecution witness, the claimants alleged that the re-investigation of Daniel Morgan's murder between 2006 and 2008 and their subsequent prosecution had been conducted in bad faith.
Mr Justice Mitting found that the police were not the prosecutor for the purposes of the tort of malicious prosecution since the CPS was not deprived of the ability to exercise independent judgment in making the decision to charge. He further found that there was sufficient evidence to provide reasonable and probable cause for prosecuting Mr Rees and the Vian brothers for Daniel Morgan's murder and that, in any event, the prosecution was not brought maliciously. The fourth claimant, the evidence against whom was provided exclusively by the witness who had been mishandled, succeeded in his claim for misfeasance. The claims in false imprisonment for wrongful arrest were not pursued.
For a copy of the judgment click here.