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  1. In making my findings, I took account of the evidence received by the Inquiry of Mr Murphy’s verbal abuse of other detained people, including the evidence of him talking about using violence against detained people and the multiple allegations of him physically abusing detained people.

17.1 In March 2017, Mr Murphy had “recently” bragged that he had kneed a detained person in the face during a restraint, and had ‘choke slammed’ a detained person who had attacked DCO Daniel Small.1

17.2 On 14 June 2017, Mr Murphy said to a detained person, “You look like a fucking mong. Get in your room”, and then “He looks like a right cunt doesn’t he.2

17.3 In August 2017, Mr Murphy threatened to “smash the fucking shit” out of a detained person.3

I note, however, that Mr Murphy denied using a chokehold against a detained person.4 There is no video evidence of him having done so. However, a lack of video footage is not determinative as to whether or not allegations of abuse are true. As I explain in Chapter D.7 in Volume II, body worn cameras were not always available, and were often not switched on during the relevant period. Moreover, Mr Tulley was only able to record incidents at which he was physically present.

  1. The Inquiry did not receive a witness statement from D2953 and so I relied upon the accounts he provided shortly after the incident and then, some months later, to the PSU investigating officers. D2953’s accounts are consistent, detailed and believable. He does not seek to hide his own challenging behaviour. Indeed, his descriptions of how he was behaving are consistent with the records made by officers at the time.5
  2. It is my view that D2953’s account is credible. I find that Mr Murphy probably did hit him on the following occasions:
  • on 10 June 2017 on his left thigh;
  • on 11 June 2017 on his left side; and
  • on 16 June 2017 on the left side of his head.
  1. I considered D2953’s state of mental and physical health and whether it made him more vulnerable to mistreatment. In interviews with PSU investigating officers on 6 and 18 October 2017, D2953 said that past operations on his chest and stomach meant that he knew he could not physically resist being restrained.6 I consider that D2953 probably would have felt unable to defend himself against a physically imposing officer; and that this, especially in the event of repeated attacks, would have left him feeling helpless.
  2. In addition, D2953 made repeated attempts to obtain the medication for depression (mirtazapine) he told staff he had been taking when he arrived at Brook House, but this was not prescribed until a week after he was detained. I make no criticism of this delay as medical staff were awaiting D2953’s medical records from his community GP before prescribing him medication. D2953 reported during one of his calls to the EASS helpline that he was having problems sleeping.7 In view of this, I consider that his mental ill health would also have left him feeling vulnerable. D2953 told PSU investigating officers that other staff witnessed the assaults on him on 10 June and 16 June 2017. D2953 said that, on the latter occasion, a member of staff told Mr Murphy to apologise to him after the assault.8 It is possible that other staff did witness what happened to D2953. Throughout the Inquiry, I heard and saw evidence of staff failing to report the wrongdoing of their colleagues.9 If other staff did indeed witness these attacks, this is likely to have made D2953 feel especially vulnerable, as he had seen that officers could assault detained people without their colleagues intervening or reporting them.
  3. D2953 reported what had happened to him multiple times. He told the EASS helpline call handler on 16 June 2017 that he feared repercussions if she contacted Brook House but that he still wanted her to do so.10 D2953 also reported the attacks verbally to multiple staff at Brook House on different occasions, and in writing to the Home Office using a complaints form. English was not his first language but he endeavoured to alert others to what had happened despite this.
  4. I cannot be sure of the exact duration and severity of the incidents involving D2953. However, they were likely to have caused him significant pain, suffering and humiliation. I have taken account of D2953’s physical vulnerabilities following previous surgery, his mental ill health and his difficulties in obtaining medication previously prescribed to him. In my view, D2953’s suffering was compounded by the number of times he was attacked and by the difficulties he
  5. faced when trying to alert staff to what had been happening to him. Therefore,
  6. I find that there is credible evidence that the cumulative effect of the three occasions when Mr Murphy hit D2953 was capable of causing intense physical and mental suffering, such that it amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.


  1. CPS000024_005[]
  2. TRN0000092_028[]
  3. TRN0000024_003[]
  4. Derek Murphy 2 March 2022 23/19-26/4[]
  5. CJS001755[]
  6. CJS001506_026-027 para 6.1.3[]
  7. HOM032609_003[]
  8. CJS001506_027 para 6.1.7[]
  9. For example, DCO Daniel Lake failed to report DCO Sean Sayers striking D313 on 15 June 2017; see Chapter C.12[]
  10. HOM032609_003[]