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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71057
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I wish to start proceedings in the Queens Bench of the High

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I wish to start proceedings in the Queens Bench of the High Court (UK) against the chief constable of my local police force for misfeasance in public office, slander and unlawful arrest and detention plus loss/theft of property from the police property store. I already have a barrister appointed by the BarPro Bono Unit but have been unable to find a solicitor to take up my case. (1) What form would I need to complete in order to commence proceedings (2) What is the cost of issuing such proceedings.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
On what basis are you hoping to do this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Here is part of a summary prepared for the IPCC which will indicate what I am looking to claim for. This information is provided in confidence.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

RE: Complaint against NAME REMOVED Police

Dear *****

Following on from our email exchange last September, I now write to you directly (as my point of contact within the IPCC) to seek your assistance in bringing about an end to what has been for myself and my family a difficult and traumatic two years. This letter has been written on the understanding that it will be kept in accordance with the agreement of confidentiality previously mentioned in your emails.

You will recall, that having been recruited by NAME REMOVED Police and then later by SOCA as an informant to provide valuable information from 2009 - 2013 in relation to my former business partner and his associates, I myself along with 2 other members of my staff were subjected to a woefully inappropriate series of actions by NAME REMOVED Police during which we were wrongly arrested (May 2013) and placed on bail, which not only resulted in the total loss and forced closure of our business, but the loss of a huge amount of property seized by NAME REMOVED police and subsequently lost / stolen.

Having taken legal advice from the Bar Pro Bono unit in London, I wrote to NAME REMOVED Police and was met by a detective superintendent (DS Debenhams) on February 20th 2014 who undertook to investigate my complaint. DS Debenhams under her obligations contacted the IPCC and sought advice and was instructed by the IPCC to carry out an internal investigation into claims made directly against her officers . In September 2014 having exhausted all attempts to resolve my complaint with NAME REMOVED Police directly, I was advised that I should seek a Judicial Review in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court and possibly instigate proceedings in the same court against NAME REMOVED Police and SOCA. DS Debenham was made aware of this and promised on three separate occasions (in writing) that her formal investigation was near completion and that she needed a little more time to conclude her findings and report to the professional standards department within NAME REMOVED Police who were (she acknowledge) in the process of preparing and posting out to me a final report. This report along with details of DS Debenhams investigation against the conduct of officers failed to materialise, and despite several requests including two registered letters sent directly to the chief constable Simon Cole I have yet to receive any response, and therefore I assume that the report was not in fact prepared and now am beginning to think that the investigation may not have been carried out at all.

You will recall that my principle concern was that one of the investigation team disclosed the fact that I had been working as an informant to the very person that I had provided information about, and as a result myself and my family were forced to move 150 miles away from our families and home town so as to afford ourselves some level of protection having been made the subject of various threats and in fear of our lives.

The many claims I have made against NAME REMOVED Police are serious, each allegation made is backed by physical evidence such as CCTV footage , Photographic evidence, Documentation , Custody Records , Recorded interviews and Property records. For your information and to refresh your memory, a brief summary of those complaints is made below :-

  1. I notified NAME REMOVED Police in 2008 that a serving police officer was involved in the importation and distribution of class B & C drugs, and named him during a telephone call to the local drugs unit. I also provided details of those he was working with and methods of shipments etc. I was then accused (by the very same officer) a few days later of a racial assault in Nottingham against an Indian taxi driver who it was alleged that I had kidnapped and held at gunpoint and for being in possession of a firearm and 600 rounds of ammunition ! . The evidence provided to both the custody sergeant (recorded) and during the magistrates hearing were falsified. No record of the racial assault existed (nor in police pocket book or MG11 statement form) , no telephone or station records of a complaint being made exists , and no firearm was evident. The 600 rounds of ammunition were later amended to 1 x tin of air rifle pellets but the wording was carefully drafted to influence the magistrates at the application for bail. I admit that I told a lie at the time to gain the trust of an police officer but the false allegations made against me by the same officer in 2008 resulted in my prolonged detention on remand and a custodial sentence that by far outweighed the actual crime I committed (fraud).

Furthermore one of the people I had named as being directly involved with the police officer was subsequently murdered in August of the same year in what the police described as a drug related incident. If the police had conducted an investigation at the time, then it is my expressed opinion that the very same gentleman would still be alive today.

The dealings with the police in 2008 were compounded by the fact that I was receiving treatment for depression and dependency / addiction to alcohol and Diazepam (benzodiazepine tranquilisers) and my at the time most fragile mental state. I was interviewed under caution whilst still under the influence of this highly soporific medication and kept in this state by the force medical examiner (FME) until after the 1st court hearing.

2 In 2009, NAME REMOVED Police confiscated £13,000 the entire contents of my business bank accounts having accused me of supplying so called “legal highs” via a website. There was insufficient evidence to demonstrate any “Criminal Activity” and so the CPS were not involved and no criminal charges were brought , however NAME REMOVED Police used the Civil Recovery process to confiscate this money even though they could not demonstrate that I had done anything unlawful.

3 In 2010, rented offices under my control (within the Regus Business Centre) were raided by armed police, and members of my staff and visitors were handcuffed, searched and held for interview whilst a search team thoroughly searched our offices looking for illegal substances. Nothing was found, and no further action was taken although in fairness the search team did apologise to both me and the centre manager at the time for the inconvenience. 20 Samples of food grade chemicals were taken away with my consent for forensic analysis, 8 of which were then lost? from the NAME REMOVED Police property store whilst the others took 18 months to be returned.

4 2012, As part of the information provided by me to my police handler, I was asked to provide copies of email that involved a 3rd party associate of my former business partner. This information was collected by Lincolnshire Police, but at the same time a full copy of my personal computer’s hard drive was collected by a computer forensics expert employed by NAME REMOVED Police. Unrelated information from that hard drive was mentioned in a later interview and should not have been disclosed.

5 In April 2013 I was contacted by Staffordshire police who were investigating the conduct of one of my company’s clients, who used our laboratory service to analyse chemical compounds. Staffordshire police visited our laboratory to take a statement and copies of test reports generated, plus had a guided tour of the business premises. Whilst this event has no relation to my complaint, it does show that the business was still of concern to the police in general and my willingness to assist if asked.

6. May 2013, A search of both my family home and business were conducted following the granting by magistrates of an arrest warrant which was signed off by my original police handler. Myself and two members of my staff were arrested, and detained during the search and computer equipment and laboratory items were removed for analysis. A vehicle was also taken from my home premises along with personal paperwork and legal documentation relating to my previous complaint.

The warrant and subsequent interviews suggest that the police were acting on information that I was somehow involved in the importation and supply of a class A drug (namely cocaine) something that I whole heartedly denied at the time. I have never used drugs or been involved with drugs and certainly would not have supplied drugs, my whole reason for contact with the police in the first place (2008) was because of my absolute hate of illegal drugs, and this was demonstrated again in 2009 when I went directly to the police having learned of the activities involving drugs by my former business partner.

The police made the allegation of my involvement with “Cocaine” directly to members of my staff and my neighbours at home, even telling one neighbour that they had “recovered a large quantity of drugs” from my property ?, this statement was absolutely untrue and caused great distress for both myself and my family.

The police were unable to demonstrate any evidence to the CPS to substantiate their allegations, and the CPS were therefore unwilling / unable to commence legal proceedings bringing an end to 10 months or so on Police Bail.

Following the cancellation of bail, only a few items of personal property were returned (computers, laptop, phone etc) whereas the bulk of the evidence seized by the police during the search were either destroyed , lost or possibly stolen. To date all I have received is a crime reference number for the theft of one item from the police property store by “persons unknown” .

None of the personal documents taken from my home or place of work have been returned and this includes evidence against the very officer involved in my arrest in 2008 and the statements from professionals I had been collecting since my release from custody. NAME REMOVED Police have chosen to ignore ALL requests for the return of such documents.

As far as the action taken by NAME REMOVED Police on May 18th 2013 goes, I can easily demonstrate :-

  1. More officers took place in the search of my properties than were shown / included on the official paperwork left at each property

  1. Officers were shown to be in two places simultaneously despite a location difference of 20+ miles

  1. Officers from SOCA were involved at the time of the search, a fact that was denied by the interviewing officer.

  1. False statements were made by officers involved with the search of my home.

  1. False statements were made by officers involved with the interviewing of witnesses during the following months so as to obtain information , and / or designed to cause maximum commercial hardship.

  1. I was personally discriminated against by police officers because of my mental illness (Bipolar / depression etc.) And previous conviction.

  1. The seizure of legally privileged material and loss of the same to drastically reduce the chance of redress against the police.

  1. The theft of personal property by police officers whilst under the control of NAME REMOVED Police.

I can also demonstrate:-

  1. The actions by the police caused undue personal financial hardship and implications individually and as a director of a Limited company.

  1. The actions by police caused further mental health issues and emotional trauma. The actions of May 2013 still cause my youngest daughter nightmares and security issues.

  1. NAME REMOVED Police failed in their duty of care whilst I was in custody.

  1. Actions by officers involved in the case directly placed me and my family in imminent danger of retribution.

  1. NAME REMOVED Police deliberately misled my legal advisor during interview.

  1. NAME REMOVED Police deliberately sought to delay the onset of legal action and misled both the IPCC and later myself by playing for extra time supported by the promise of a full investigation and written report.

  1. NAME REMOVED Police willingly compounded my complaint by ignoring repeated request for the return of property etc.

With the above in mind, I would like for the IPCC to again acknowledge receipt of my complaint and if appropriate now commence its own investigation against NAME REMOVED Police in relation to my complaint. I will, if required meet with any of your agencies investigators or agents and provide copies of documents or other evidence in my possession and will provide written consent for the release of health / public authority / financial records if required.

I know and understand that the IPCC receive lots of complaints against the police, and also many like me who protest their innocence in all things criminal, and I also know that my attitude in 2008 whilst suffering from a mental breakdown and delusions did not help me win any friends within the police force, however apart from being a little eccentric I have always been very moral, reliable and trustworthy. To have my life destroyed by a sequence of events (and I do mean destroyed) is not fair, nor right and just, whatever the overall objectives of the Police were. I told a lie in 2008 and found myself ridiculed, embarrassed and in prison and then subject to repeated vindictive actions by police officers when I tried to rebuild my life, whereas the police officer who lied in 2008, got promoted and a pat on the back.

If the IPCC feel it is not best placed to investigate any of my complaints at this time I would like written confirmation of this so as to aid my application for legal aid should I decide to seek justice through the court system directly. You will note that I have also copied this letter to my local MP Mr Christopher Chope as he is involved in both the Justice and Standards committees and will no doubt wish to take a more direct interest should anything untoward happen to my family or I as a result of the disclosure of my role as an informant.

Has anybody warned you of the risk of costs?
And, indeed, harassment?
Have you had advice from anybody?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not spoken to any solicitor about this only a barrister appointed by the BarPro Bono unit who says I have a valid and strong case due to the amount of evidence I have gathered.

Harassment was mentioned too but I do not know how to quantify that. My losses are easy to quantify as is the claim for damages for slander but as for the rest I am struggling.

OK. If you have had advice and it was favourable then it probably is worth pursuing. It is a very difficult claim to bring but if you have had advice then it is likely to be a good case.
You don't start all of these matters in this way though.
A defamation action needs the protocol to be complied with. You will need to see a defamation solicitor about that and it will be expensive I'm afraid. I would imagine the police will not cave in.
You will probably find this case
very helpful as it is the seminal case. There have been some subsequently but that is the authority.
Misfeance in public office is basically a public law claim and that is expensive. You will find an example of the form here
but it is basically the N1 form. The court will send you paper copies.
The loss of your property is simple. That is just a small claims court claim here
there is nothing complicated in that and that is cheap.
Unlawful arrest is a tort though. It is the easier of the torts above to show and generally the cheaper. There are solicitors who will work on no win no fee if the case is a good one. Tuckers and McCormacks both have separate solicitors who sue the police for acting outside of the law. If you have had advice from a barrister that your case is a strong one then that might be an option for you.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The barrister has advised me to bring about proceedings in the High Court (ie Trial), it is the application form details and cost of this that I am looking for.

What I am trying to avoid is starting several different actions at once. The slanderous remarks were recorded by a neighbour so it would be very difficult for the police to deny.

Oh no, the police may not deny it making the comments. That is not usually the defence. There is more involved than showing that adverse comments were made.
It is the N1 form here
How much it costs depends. It is usually over £1k to issue. If the police cave in then that is great and there is no more cost. The reality is that they probably won't given the nature of the allegations. That is when the cost racks up. If you appear unrepresented then the risk would be their costs which would be around £25k plus.
If you appear represented then, without no win no fee, I'm afraid your costs are going to be fairly comparable.
The other alternative to no win no fee is the Bar Pro Bono Unit who might pick it up for representation. Sounds an interesting case so somebody may be keen.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Thanks for the answer. I already have the support of the BarProBono unit who have provided me with a barrister , my problem is finding a suitable solicitor to instruct him, hence wanting to issue proceedings on my own. (The Bar Pro Bono unit tell me they do not find solicitors) !!

If I issue the N1 form myself will the court grant me the trial I require or will I need to apply for that separately

The Pro Bono Unit can instruct him. That is the purpose of the unit.
Probably the unit have only circulated it as advice only at this stage.
The court doesnt set it down for trial immediately upon issue of the forms but ultimately it will be set down for trial. Nobody can make you withdraw.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Could you clarify the role of the Bar Pro Bono unit for me please Jo, Originally my local MP put me in touch with them as I could not afford to pay for legal advice. I contacted the BarPro Bono unit and outlined my case and they found a barrister willing to take on my case. Having provided massive amounts of evidence and details he said that my claim would need to be heard in the high court and that I should find a solicitor to commence proceedings although he was / is still willing to do the barrister stuff for free via the Bar Pro Bono unit. I contacted the Bar Pro Bono unit again and asked if they could help me find a solicitor but they said this is not something that they ever did.

Ive been running into brick walls ever since. Really stuck to know what to do or where to turn next.

Yes, all that means is that specific barrister is not willing to take it on for representation. That is quite common. It is a lot less time consuming to write advices than to attend at court.
The Pro Bono Unit can circulate it for representation. Whether it will be picked up or not is another matter obviously.
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