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3 June 2017: The underlying facts

  1. The Inquiry saw closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the IT suite recorded at approximately 10:00 on 3 June 2017.1 The CCTV footage does not include audio, but it is of high quality visually. The footage, which lasts 10 minutes 31 seconds, shows a small room with a desk with four computer terminals against the wall facing the CCTV camera. Further computer terminals are visible against two other walls of the room, although these are only partially visible at the edges of the frame.
  2. The footage begins with three detained people sitting at the computer screens facing the CCTV camera. Three other detained people are partially visible at the edges of the frame, one of whom is sitting in front of a computer terminal. Only the heads of the two other detained people are visible but they too appear to be seated. One of these men was D1538.
  3. Approximately 12 seconds after the footage begins, DCO Edmund Fiddy opened the door and walked into the room. Mr Fiddy walked to the corner of the room furthest from the door. D1538 approached Mr Fiddy. The angle of the CCTV camera meant that only their legs could be seen. D1538 stood close to Mr Fiddy for approximately 15 seconds, during which time the other detained people in the room looked over in their direction. Another detained person joined them and guided D1538 away from the officer. D1538 appeared agitated and, after some hesitation, returned to his seat.
  4. The other detained people continued to look in D1538’s direction, and after approximately 20 seconds he stood up and again approached Mr Fiddy. Mr Fiddy held his hand up towards D1538 as an apparent gesture to keep a distance between them. D1538 moved towards Mr Fiddy with his left arm extended and indicating towards DCO Luke Instone-Brewer (who the footage later shows was behind Mr Fiddy at the time). Mr Fiddy then used his hand to make contact with D1538’s upper body and push him away. Mr Fiddy pointed at D1538, who moved back towards him. The pair grappled briefly, and Mr Fiddy put his hands onto D1538’s neck and pushed him away. Mr Fiddy’s hands made contact with D1538’s neck for approximately two seconds.

Figure 22: Mr Fiddy and D1538 grappling in the IT suite

  1. Mr Instone-Brewer then entered the frame next to Mr Fiddy. D1538 continued to walk towards the officers, who moved backwards in an attempt to maintain distance between themselves and D1538.
  2. The detained person who had earlier guided D1538 away stepped in between D1538 and the officers and again guided him backwards. Mr Instone- Brewer appeared to step towards both detained men, and Mr Fiddy can be seen guiding Mr Instone-Brewer away, using his hands in a de-escalatory manner.
  3. D1538 remained agitated, and appeared to be trying to get around the detained person, who was now standing between him and the officers. The detained person maintained one hand on D1538’s right shoulder and his other hand on D1538’s left side, and appeared to be talking to D1538 in an attempt to calm him down. A third detained person also attempted to guide D1538 away from the staff.
  4. D1538 pointed at the officers but then returned to his seat. He remained turned towards the officers and gesticulated towards them, and the third detained person walked back over to D1538 in an apparent attempt to de-escalate the situation. He placed his hands on D1538’s shoulder, and blocked his path when D1538 stood back up. After approximately 30 seconds the third detained person returned to his seat, and D1538 appeared to go back to what he had originally been doing. For the next two minutes the room appeared to be calm.
  5. Approximately 4 minutes 50 seconds into the footage, a manager opened the door to the room and stood in the doorway. Mr Instone-Brewer walked towards the manager and addressed him while pointing to D1538, who turned around in his chair. After 10 seconds, Mr Instone-Brewer left the room with the manager and the two officers could be seen talking through the glass panel in the door. Mr Fiddy remained in the room with the detained people. D1538 approached Mr Fiddy approximately 30 seconds after Mr Instone-Brewer left the room. He then briefly returned to his seat before approaching Mr Fiddy again. As D1538 was walking away from Mr Fiddy, Mr Instone-Brewer opened the door and addressed D1538, who turned back and pointed towards Mr Fiddy before joining the officer outside the room. Mr Fiddy left the room shortly afterwards but returned after approximately one minute.
  6. In his Use of Force report, Mr Fiddy recorded that D1538 had called Mr Instone-Brewer a “racist motherfucker” and had threatened to hit him. Mr Fiddy described D1538 approaching Mr Instone-Brewer in an “extremely aggressive manner” and wrote that he was worried for his colleague. Mr Fiddy recorded that D1538 entered his personal space and did not retreat when he told him to. Mr Fiddy recorded that he feared being assaulted, and so adopted a defensive stance and “made a defensive push” towards D1538 while telling him to keep back. He wrote that D1538 approached him from the left and that he believed D1538 may have been attempting to assault him and Mr Instone- Brewer. Mr Fiddy wrote:

“this is when I pushed the detainee backwards as he was once again in my personal space with his head tilted towards mine. When [I] pushed him out of my personal space he simultaneously grabbed the back of my neck and pulled me closer and this is when I pushed him harder for him to stop assaulting me.”2

  1. Mr Instone-Brewer recorded his account of the event on an incident report form.3 He described being asked for access to a computer by D1538 and politely replying that D1538 was welcome to use any computer, but that there were problems with the internet speed. Mr Instone-Brewer wrote that D1538 said “fuck you” in response and went on to call him a racist. He said that several other detained people attempted to calm D1538 down, and one of them disputed that Mr Instone-Brewer had been racist. Mr Instone-Brewer recorded that D1538 became more animated and began to threaten to assault him. At this point, Mr Fiddy entered the room and, seeing D1538’s aggression towards Mr Instone-Brewer, stood between the two men to create a barrier. Mr Instone-Brewer recorded that D1538 approached Mr Fiddy, who commanded him to get back a number of times. Mr Fiddy then pushed D1538 back. D1538 launched himself at Mr Fiddy and grabbed him by the throat, but Mr Fiddy was able to push D1538 back after a short struggle. Mr Instone- Brewer wrote that D1538 then moved away but continued to make threats until he was removed by a manager.
  2. Documentation under Rule 40 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 (removal from association) was completed by DCM Andy Lyden, who recorded the reason for removal from association as the invasion of an officer’s personal space. Mr Lyden recorded that the Duty Director, Mr Julian Williams, had been consulted and that Rule 40 was required. Mr Lyden’s signature was added at 14:00, four hours after the incident in the IT suite.4 Mr Williams subsequently recorded that he considered the correct action had been taken. He stated that he had authorised the barring of D1538 from the IT suite for one week.5
  3. D1538 made a complaint through his solicitors on 21 August 2017, after he had been transferred to Harmondsworth immigration removal centre.6 His complaint related to the incident in the IT suite on 3 June 2017 and another incident on 28 June 2017 (which I consider later in this chapter). The complaint in relation to the incident in the IT suite reads:

“The first allegation is that, on 3 June 2017, there was an incident involving the use of the computer room. Our client states that he was denied use of a computer by a detention officer and that he was not provided a reason for this. Our client then alleges that the detention officer called over other detention officers who then pushed and tried to slap him. Our client was calm until this point but then looked to defend himself. As a result of this incident, the manager was called over and our client was sent to isolation for 24 hours and banned from the computer room for 7 days.”7

  1. As discussed in Chapter D.10 in Volume II, D1538’s complaint was eventually referred to the Home Office Professional Standards Unit (PSU) for investigation in November 2017 (three months after the complaint, as it was at first wrongly allocated by the Home Office to G4S). D1538 was not interviewed about the incident until 15 December 2017, approximately four months after his complaint, and was not given an interpreter.8 The PSU’s investigating officer was Mr John Adamson, who prepared a summary of the interview with D1538. This account was not prepared in consultation with D1538 and it has not been adopted by him. The summary records that D1538 told Mr Adamson that he had not approached the officers in the IT suite and that he had simply asked several times to use a computer and had been ignored, and then shouted at, by the officers. D1538 told Mr Adamson that he did not “get on a computer” and that he had not sat down at a computer or anywhere. D1538 said that he had not approached the officers, and that he had been pushed by both officers.9 The PSU investigation report concluded that Mr Instone-Brewer and Mr Fiddy had acted in accordance with their training.10
  2. In his witness statement to the Inquiry, D1538 stated that he was denied use of a computer by a staff member and that he was pushed by another officer following a verbal altercation. This resulted in D1538 feeling that it was necessary to defend himself.11
  3. In his oral evidence to the Inquiry, Mr Fiddy accepted that the CCTV appeared to show him making contact with D1538’s neck, and that he did not use a technique that had been taught to him in training. However, he maintained that he pushed D1538 away in order to protect himself and that he did not use any more force than was necessary in the circumstances.12


  1. Disk 4 UOF 136.17 3 June 2017[]
  2. CJS001619_003-004[]
  3. CJS001619_027[]
  4. CJS001619_018; CJS001619_026[]
  5. CJS001619_015-026[]
  6. DL0000067_001-002[]
  7. CJS001360_001[]
  8. HOM002627[]
  9. HOM002627_002[]
  10. CJS003348_025 para 8.25[]
  11. DL0000231_024 para 90[]
  12. Edmund Fiddy 7 March 2022 171/18-172/11[]