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  1. The footage of this incident was very uncomfortable to watch.
  2. Given the early hour of the day, and the fact that D2416 was in bed and more than likely asleep when the officers entered his cell, they should have anticipated that D2416 may have been undressed. Therefore, they should have formulated a plan for how to deal with this over and above placing a towel around his waist.
  3. In my opinion, the use of force against D2416 was unjustified and disproportionate in the circumstances; I agree with Mr Collier’s assessment. Insufficient attempts were made to persuade D2416 to cooperate before the use of force was authorised. Force was therefore not used as a last resort. The short amount of time taken to engage with D2416 before using force (26 seconds) rendered the negotiations artificial, and the officers did not attempt any other de-escalation techniques prior to the use of force. Taken together, these factors suggest that the officers had a lack of understanding of how to de-escalate a situation and of the techniques which could be used to avoid the use of force. Indeed, it appeared as though they assumed that a restraint was inevitable.
  4. The officers made no effort to engage with D2416 regarding the concerns that he was raising and instead shouted over the top of him. This escalated the situation and caused D2416 to be frustrated. Indeed, he only started swearing at the officers once they had repeatedly ignored his concerns about his wrists, his stated need to use the toilet, and his appointment with his solicitor.
  5. D2416 was left naked while restrained for an unacceptable amount of time. He was naked for over 18 minutes, which led Mr Farrell to avoid capturing the majority of the incident on camera, a situation that could and should have been avoided. There should have been more meaningful attempts to supply D2416 with clothes before he was removed from the cell. In my opinion, repeatedly asking whether D2416 was going to put on boxer shorts (a question asked four times in the space of eight seconds) when he was already on the landing did not constitute a reasonable attempt to persuade him to get dressed. Notably, at that point there were no clothes available for D2416 to put on and he was attempting to speak to the officers about an appointment that he had with his solicitor. Insufficient consideration was given to his dignity and opportunities were missed to de-escalate the situation and to ensure that D2416 was provided with clothes. I also find that it was unacceptable for a large group of at least seven officers and escort staff, many of whom were wearing PPE, to surround D2416 while he was naked or only covered by a towel at the bottom of the stairwell. He was not physically resisting or posing a risk to himself or staff, and there is no evidence that any consideration was given to whether or not all of the officers present were required.
  6. The Use of Force reports were contradictory regarding the time at which the head support was applied to D2416. Mr Shadbolt and Mr Shaukat failed to mention the use of the head support at all.1 Mr Farrell did not complete a Use of Force report; Mr Timms said that the head support was only applied part- way down the stairs; and Mr Wright, the officer who took control of D2416’s head, said he did so at the top of the stairs.2 While the head restraint is not shown on the footage, it is my view that Mr Wright must be correct in this regard. Mr Farrell told him to take control of D2416’s head on three separate occasions before the officers started moving down the stairs, and Mr Wright is likely to have been able to accurately record his own actions in his report.
  7. The application of the head support was not justified by D2416’s actions. The footage shows that D2416 compliantly walked with the officers to the stairwell and moved into the appropriate position to be escorted down the stairs. While he told the officers at the top of the stairs that he could “fucking walk”, he did not shout at the officers or struggle against them. Indeed, he only raised his voice when an officer tried to speak over the top of him. In the circumstances, I agree with Mr Collier that D2416 ought to have been permitted to move down the stairs without his head being restrained.
  8. I consider that the written reports submitted by Mr Timms and Mr Wright gave a misleading account of D2416’s demeanour. Mr Timms described D2416 as “refusing to comply” or “resisting” the removal, and Mr Wright said that he took control of D2146’s head because D2416 started not to comply prior to being escorted down the stairs.3 However, the footage demonstrates that it was only when the officers began to move D2416 down the stairs that he offered any physical resistance (in the form of putting his feet onto the stair railings).4 Mr Timms also described D2416 as agitated, but failed to mention why (for example, because the restraint was hurting D2416’s wrists). This gave the inaccurate impression that D2416 was resisting the removal.5 It is concerning that, despite knowing that the restraint was being recorded, the officers appear to have been unconcerned that their written accounts justifying the use of force could be proven to be misrepresentative. This is an example of a culture at Brook House during the relevant period in which the use of force was not sufficiently scrutinised and staff did not expect their accounts to be challenged, which I discuss further in Chapter D.7 in Volume II.
  9. I consider that the force used against D2416 while he was naked or covered only by a towel was likely to be humiliating. The force was not justified; D2416 was naked or near-naked for over 18 minutes; the incident was witnessed by a large number of people; and PPE was used in circumstances that did not appear to warrant it. Moreover, D2416 stated at least three times during the incident that he needed to urinate and was not given the opportunity to do so. In my view, there is credible evidence that this was capable of amounting to degrading treatment.


  1. CJS005630 009-010; CJS005630 024-025[]
  2. CJS005630; CJS005630_014; CJS005630_019[]
  3. CJS005630_014; CJS005630_019[]
  4. CJS0074115 UOF 88.17 BWC[]
  5. CJS005630_014[]