Damages For Being Detained in Immigration Detention Centre

The Claimant, Mr Zia Tarakhil, claimed damages for false imprisonment and wrongful detention in the Immigration Detention Centre.

Mr Tarakhil, arrived in the UK on 19 May 2008 as an minor and was granted permission to remain in the United Kingdom until 31st March 2011.

He applied for an extension of that leave which was pending when he witnessed the homicide of his friend. His application was refused by the Home Office.

Mr Tarakhil was subject to the police ‘Operation Barnham’ as a witness in the murder trial of his friend. The Home Office were informed that the Mr Tarakhil could not be detained in an immigration detention without the permission of the police.

Operation Barnham was concerned with immigrants who were subject to removal from the United Kingdom, but whose continued presence was needed in the UK to assist in the prosecution of serious crime.

In April 2011, the Home Office recorded that the Mr Tarakhil’s further application for leave to remain had been refused and that his appeal rights were exhausted. In July, Mr Tarakhil issued a fresh application, which was refused. However, he was granted permission to appeal.

On 19th January 2012, Mr Tarakhil was subsequently detained at an immigration centre without the permission of the police. A number of detention reviews took place and the decision was taken to maintain his detention until 9 February, when he was released.

The High Court ruled that Mr Tarakhil had never been under any obligation to leave the UK and was therefore not capable of being lawfully removed.

Many significant matters had not been taken into account in reaching the decisions to continue with Mr Tarakhil’s detention. The decision to detain him on 19 January 2012 was fatally flawed because it did not consider his ongoing involvement with Operation Barnham; he had not exhausted his appeal rights, no consideration had been given to whether his detention was necessary or would be longer than was reasonable and he had been given no reasons for the detention.

It was ruled that the entire period of the detention was unjustified and unlawful.

The Court further held that Mr Tarakhil had been aware from the outset that his detention was unlawful and he had been profoundly affected by it. His health was prior to detention was largely normal, however, the psychiatric evidence produced showed that he was deeply shocked by his detention with symptoms of anxiety and fear.

Mr Tarakhil was awarded £14,250 for the unlawful detention, £3,000 for personal injuries and £2,000 for damages. A total award of £19,250 was ordered.