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28 June 2017: Conclusions

  1. The Inquiry heard evidence that D1538 was, at times, confrontational (see, for example, the conclusions above regarding the incident on 3 June 2017).
  2. The Inquiry also heard evidence that Mr Tomsett found “controlling the door” between wings to be challenging, due to the amount of abuse he received from detained people who were not allowed to move freely between wings.1
  3. There were also examples of Mr Tomsett’s poor behaviour towards detained people, particularly when he believed that his authority was being challenged.

58.1 In a recording from 5 June 2017, Mr Tomsett told a detained person asking for new underwear that he was “whining like a girl” and to “man up”, saying that he would not “listen to your fucking bollocks”. He also referred to a detained person as a “cunt”.2

58.2 In covert audio of a conversation between Mr Tomsett and Mr Tulley on 6 June 2017 about the misuse of drugs in Brook House, Mr Tomsett referred to detained people as “wanker” and “fucking idiot”. He also described all the detained people in single occupancy rooms as “nonces”.3

58.3 In a recording from 19 June 2017, Mr Tomsett stated that he had told a detained person he would “fucking put you out of your misery”.4

58.4 There were multiple allegations of racism against Mr Tomsett from at least five detained people over a number of years.5

58.5 There was also a log of complaints of verbal aggression made against Mr Tomsett relating to D1985, D4277, D4049, D381 and D1399.6

  1. I find D1538’s account credible in light of the other evidence heard about Mr Tomsett’s conduct. The recordings obtained by the Inquiry in particular show that Mr Tomsett was willing to direct particularly insulting and hostile language at detained people in his care, and that he could also be threatening. While Mr Tomsett denied the allegations of racism made against him, and the complaints of verbal aggression made against him were recorded as unsubstantiated,7 I consider it highly unlikely that the only times Mr Tomsett used inappropriate language either towards or about detained people were when he was filmed by Mr Tulley.
  2. Irrespective of D1538’s stated reasons for wishing to enter C Wing, Mr Tomsett was probably irritated by D1538 during their exchange on 28 June 2017 and is likely to have then used abusive and homophobic language towards him. Homophobic insults are unacceptable in any environment, but in a detained environment they can put individuals at risk of harm. D1538 told the Inquiry that he did not feel detention was an environment where it was safe to be open about his sexuality.8 I consider it likely that he was therefore frightened of the consequences of other detained people hearing Mr Tomsett’s comments.
  3. It is inherently difficult for a detained person to prove that they were verbally abused by a member of staff. In Chapter D.10 in Volume II, I discuss the barriers detained people faced when complaining about their treatment in the relevant period. D1538 overcame these barriers and made a complaint about Mr Tomsett at the same time as he complained about the force used against him on 3 June 2017. There were serious failings in how D1538’s complaints were investigated. These included confusion between G4S and the PSU on jurisdiction for the complaint and, relatedly, delays in carrying out the investigation.9 The PSU investigating officer did not interview Mr Tomsett and no attempt was made to interview other staff on duty at the time or, crucially, other detained people who may have witnessed the exchange between D1538 and Mr Tomsett.10 The investigating officer did not identify that there had been multiple other complaints against Mr Tomsett for verbal abuse. In drawing conclusions about whether the verbal abuse took place, the investigating officer appeared to believe that it was simply unlikely that an officer would make such comments to a detained person.11 This showed a lack of investigative rigour and an apparent naivety about the reality of how some staff did speak to detained people in the relevant period.
  4. There is a conflict of evidence between D1538’s witness statement and what Mr Tomsett told the Inquiry about whether he pushed D1538’s head down. In the circumstances of this aspect of the incident, I am unable to reach any conclusions.
  5. I find that Mr Tomsett’s comment to D1538, that he needed to change his clothes because he looked gay, implied that Mr Tomsett considered there was something wrong with the way that D1538 was dressed. The comment was therefore probably made with the express intention of humiliating D1538, and I think it is likely that he was humiliated. By the time of this incident Mr Tomsett had been working at Brook House for two years and six months.12 He was therefore likely to have been aware that there were some detained people in Brook House who did not approve of homosexuality. In the circumstances, I consider that Mr Tomsett is likely to have appreciated that his specific choice of words could have placed D1538 at risk of harm. As such, I find that there is credible evidence that D1538’s treatment during this incident alone is capable of amounting to degrading treatment.


  1. Darren Tomsett 7 March 2022 10/15-11/25[]
  2. TRN0000080_002; TRN0000080_004[]
  3. TRN0000081_006-007[]
  4. TRN0000083_002[]
  5. D180, D4277, D381 (CJS001443_001-005); INN000024_051-052 para 171; HOM002190_001 row 5; D668 6 December 2021 88/24-92/16; TRN0000080_002[]
  6. HOM002190[]
  7. Darren Tomsett 7 March 2022 44/19-20, 49/5-50/17, 62/24-63/23; HOM002547; INN000024_056-057 paras 183-186; HOM002190[]
  8. DL0000231_029 para 105[]
  9. CJS003348_006 paras 5.1-5.11[]
  10. CJS003348_007-016[]
  11. CJS003348_022 para 7.3.17[]
  12. INN000024_0001 para 2[]