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Overview of the Inquiry’s methodology

Evidence obtained

  1. The Inquiry issued a call for evidence from staff, formerly detained people and anyone else involved in or affected by Brook House to share their experiences of Brook House during the relevant period. Efforts were also made to contact formerly detained people, current and former staff members at Brook House, as well as other G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) Ltd (G4S) staff and other relevant witnesses.
  2. In accordance with Rule 5 of the Inquiry Rules 2006 as set out below, Core Participant status was granted to 12 formerly detained people, 4 former members of staff, the BBC, G4S, G4S Health Services (UK) Ltd, Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, the Home Office, the National Chair and Management Board of the Independent Monitoring Boards on behalf of the Brook House Independent Monitoring Board, Medical Justice, Practice Plus Group and Serco Group PLC.1
  3. Over the course of the Inquiry, more than 9,000 documents were disclosed to Core Participants by the Inquiry, comprising more than 100,000 pages of material. The Inquiry received and reviewed over 90 hours of undercover recordings made for the BBC by Callum Tulley at Brook House, along with 36 video diaries concerning particular shifts that he worked. More than four hours of the key footage was disclosed to Core Participants in video format, and other relevant material was provided in transcripts. The Inquiry also obtained closed-circuit television (CCTV), body worn and handheld camera footage relating to specific incidents within the relevant period, which was reviewed and where relevant disclosed to Core Participants. In addition, the Inquiry disclosed more than 100,000 pages of documentary material to Core Participants and appointed three experts: Professor Mary Bosworth (cultural expert), Dr James Hard (medical expert) and Mr Jonathan Collier (use of force expert), who produced detailed reports and gave oral evidence at the Inquiry’s hearings.2
  4. Public hearings took place over 46 days (divided into two phases between 23 November 2021 and 6 April 2022) with oral evidence from 73 witnesses including 4 formerly detained people. In addition, 23 written witness statements were summarised by agreement between the Inquiry and the witnesses’ legal representatives and then read into evidence. In total, the Inquiry heard evidence (read and live) from 25 formerly detained people.3

The Inquiry’s approach to the evidence

  1. When deciding on the correct approach to the standard of proof and weight to be applied to different types of evidence received by the Inquiry, including in relation to any assessment of whether there is ‘credible’ evidence of acts or omissions that are capable of amounting to mistreatment contrary to Article 3, I considered:
  • the principles set out by Sir Christopher Pitchford, the late chair of the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI); 4
  • the principles set out by Sir William Gage, Chairman of the Baha Mousa Inquiry; 5 and
  • the case law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning ill treatment in detention under Article 3. 6
  1. I am adopting the following approach.

8.1 In relation to issues of fact, I am applying a variable and flexible approach to the standard of proof, as favoured in the UCPI and the Baha Mousa Inquiry. 7

8.2 As with the UCPI, my starting point is to apply the civil standard of proof when determining whether an incident occurred.8 I may say that my particular finding is made ‘on the balance of probabilities’ – that is, it is ‘more likely than not’ that an incident occurred – or say that it ‘probably’ did occur or ‘it is probable that it did occur’. This is also consistent with the requirement under section 2 of the 2005 Act that I must not determine criminal or civil liability.

8.3 Where I am ‘sure’ (the criminal standard of proof, sometimes expressed as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’) that an incident occurred, I will say so.

8.4 At the other end of the spectrum, where I am unable to reach a conclusion ‘on the balance of probabilities’ (the civil standard of proof), I may say that an incident has ‘possibly’ occurred or that ‘I suspect’ or ‘believe’ it has.

  1. I have a wide discretion in my assessment of the weight to be afforded to different types of evidence. When making a finding whether there is ‘credible’ evidence of mistreatment, I set out why I find that evidence credible.9This includes an assessment of the type of evidence that I find credible and therefore how much weight I apply to it, considering the following questions:
  • How clear and detailed is the evidence of mistreatment?10
  • Are there other similar indisputable facts that have been established?11
  • Is the account of mistreatment consistent with any other account the detained person has given, or with other evidence independent of their account?12
  • Is there any evidence that contradicts or refutes the account? If so, what is the quality of that evidence?
  • If contradictory evidence ought to have existed and does not (eg there are missing records), what, if any, conclusions can be drawn from its absence?
  1. I also considered the type of evidence.
  • 10.1 Ordinarily, more weight should be given to oral evidence than written evidence given by witnesses. This is because oral evidence is tested under questioning. Under Rule 10 of the Inquiry Rules 2006, Core Participants also submitted to the Inquiry questions to be asked of witnesses. When these questions were accepted by the Chair, they were asked and so, to that extent, the Core Participants were able to participate in the process of oral questioning. With this in mind, I placed particular weight on the oral evidence to the Inquiry.
  • 10.2 However, some witnesses – mostly detained people – did not give oral evidence, for example due to their vulnerabilities. Only five detained people gave oral evidence. The Home Office and G4S submitted that I ought to be wary of accepting the evidence of detained people who did not give oral testimony.13 A number of those provided detailed witness statements to the Inquiry which, in many respects, have also been supported by other documentary and video evidence. Where a detained person’s written witness evidence was supported by other evidence, particularly video evidence, I placed significant weight on that evidence. I also considered accounts given by witnesses in other forms, including statements and interviews provided to the Professional Standards Unit and witness statements for other purposes. The weight I attached to such evidence has depended on the circumstances, including when they were given and the detail contained therein.
  • 10.3 I accept the Home Office’s submission that witness evidence in general (whether from detained people, G4S staff, or others) may need to be treated with some caution due to the passage of time since the events. 14 Other documentary or video evidence may then be given greater weight, depending on the circumstances. However, I also bore in mind that limited weight may be given to certain types of documentary evidence provided to this Inquiry, which could depend, for example, on its origin, who drafted it, and in what circumstances.
  • 10.4 In terms of the quality of the evidence, I gave consideration to the inherent difficulties faced by detained people in providing supporting evidence due to their detention, as the European Court of Human Rights does. 15
  1. In relation to Article 3, there is helpful guidance when assessing the underlying facts as to whether there is ‘credible’ evidence of acts or omissions that are capable of amounting to mistreatment. As a matter of law, to find a violation of Article 3, there must be “sufficiently strong, clear and concordant inferences or of similar unrebutted presumptions of fact”. 16 The supporting evidence must be “elaborate and consistent … mentioning the specific elements … credible and reasonably detailed”. 17 This means that there must be strong, clear and consistent evidence, or evidence that is similar to other evidence (ie it is supported) and is undisputed. The level of persuasion necessary to make a particular finding will depend on how specific the evidence is, the type of allegation made, and the right at stake. 18. Further detail regarding the Inquiry’s approach in this regard is set out in Chapter C.1 in Volume I.

Restriction order relating to formerly detained people

  1. A restriction order was made pursuant to section 19 of the Inquiries Act 2005 which prohibited the disclosure or publication of any information identifying any formerly detained person who was designated as a Core Participant by the Inquiry, or any formerly detained person from, or about whom, the Inquiry heard or adduced evidence.19 As a result, each formerly detained person was allocated a letter and number (referred to as a cipher) to protect their identity, such as D1527.


  1. In order to encourage witnesses to give evidence to the Inquiry and to provide full and frank evidence when doing so, undertakings were obtained from the Attorney General for England and Wales. A letter dated 11 January 2021 confirmed the Attorney General’s decision to grant an undertaking that (subject to specified exceptions set out within the undertaking) oral, written or documentary evidence provided by a legal or natural person to the Inquiry, in relation to a matter within the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, would not be used in evidence against that person in any criminal proceedings or for the purpose of investigating any criminal offence or deciding whether to bring criminal proceedings.20
  2. On 4 August 2021, the Inquiry also accepted an undertaking from the Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice which confirmed that (subject to specified exceptions set out within the undertaking), in respect of any current or former detained person who provided oral, written or documentary evidence to the Inquiry, that evidence would not be used against them in various ways.21

Those involved in the Inquiry

Inquiry secretariat

Role                                              Name
Secretary to the Inquiry                  Ms Gemma Ludgate, Mr Sam Ashby

Inquiry Solicitor

Role                                              Name
Solicitor to the Inquiry                    Mr Ellis Pinnell
Deputy Solicitor to the Inquiry        Ms Alexandra Momcilovic

Inquiry Counsel team

Lead Counsel to the InquiryMrBrian Altman KC
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMsSarah Simcock
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMsSaoirse Townshend
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMrPaul Livingston
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMsJo Moore
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMsHarriet Wakeman
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMsCharlotte Crocombe
Junior Counsel to the InquiryMrPaul Erdunast

Core Participants

Core ParticipantLegal representative(s)
BBCMr Jude Bunting KC BBC Litigation Department
D643Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis
D687Dr Nick Armstrong Deighton Pierce Glynn
D801Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Bhatt Murphy
D1275Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Bhatt Murphy
D1473Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Bhatt Murphy
D1527Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis
D1538Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis
D1713Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Bhatt Murphy
D1851Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis
D1914Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis
D2077Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis
D2158Ms Stephanie Harrison KC Bhatt Murphy
Mr Charles FrancisMr Christopher Jacobs Howe + Co
G4S Care and Justice Services (UK) LtdMr Andrew Sharland KC DWF Law LLP
G4S Health Services (UK) LtdMr Andrew Sharland KC DWF Law LLP
Gatwick Detainees Welfare GroupMr Nick Armstrong Deighton Pierce Glynn
HM Chief Inspector of PrisonsMs Amy Mannion Government Legal Department
Home OfficeMr Julian Blake Government Legal Department
Independent Monitoring Board at Brook HouseMr Jonathan Dixey Government Legal Department
Medical JusticeMs Stephanie Harrison KC Bhatt Murphy
Practice Plus GroupMs Cecily White Hill Dickinson
Mr Nathan RingMr Matthias Kelly KC Milners Solicitors
Serco Group PLCMs Kate Blackwell KC DWF Law LLP
Mr Owen SyredInnovo Law
Reverend Nathan WardMs Stephanie Harrison KC Duncan Lewis

Witnesses who gave oral evidence

Name / cipherHearing date
Mr Dominic Aitken8 December 2021
Dr Rachel Bingham14 March 2022
Mr Anton Bole8 December 2021
Professor Mary Bosworth29 March 2022
Mr Gordon Brockington31 March 2022
Mr Ryan Bromley7 March 2022
Dr Sarah Bromley1 April 2022
Ms Joanne Buss14 March 2022
Ms Sandra Calver1 March 2022
Mr Ian Castle15 March 2022
Dr Saeed Chaudhary11 March 2022
Mr Ian Cheeseman16 March 2022
Ms Karen Churcher10 March 2022
Ms Jacqueline Colbran25 March 2022
Mr Jonathan Collier30 March 2022
Mr John Connolly2 March 2022
Mr Steven Dix9 March 2022
Mr Christopher Donnelly23 February 2022
Mr Philip Dove31 March 2022
D64322 February 2022
D6686 December 2021
D16183 December 2021
D18513 December 2021
Mr Babatunde Fagbo4 March 2022
Mr Shane Farrell8 March 2022
Mr Edmund Fiddy7 March 2022
Mr Charles Francis3 March 2022
Mr Clayton Fraser28 February 2022
Mr Paul Gasson15 March 2022
Mr Lee Hanford15 March 2022
Dr James Hard28 March 2022
Mr Daniel Haughton16 March 2022
Mr Steven Hewer1 April 2022
Mr Luke Instone-Brewer8 March 2022
Mr Mohammed Khan24 March 2022
Mr Daniel Lake1 March 2022
Mr Stephen Loughton1 March 2022
Mr Jamie Macpherson8 December 2021
Ms Mary Molyneux25 March 2022
Ms Shayne Munroe4 March 2022
Mr Derek Murphy2 March 2022
Mr Mr Peter Neden22 March 2022
Ms Sarah Newland21 March 2022
Dr Husein Oozeerally11 March 2022
Mr Ioannis Paschali24 February 2022
Mr Jeremy Petherick21 March 2022
Ms Anna Pincus9 December 2021
Mr Stewart Povey-Meier17 March 2022
Ms Sile Reynolds8 December 2021
Mr Philip Riley4 April 2022
Mr Nathan Ring25 February 2022
Mr Kalvin Sanders4 March 2022
Mr Ben Saunders22 March 2022
Mr Sean Sayers10 March 2022
Ms Theresa Schleicher14 March 2022
Mr Philip Schoenenberger23 March 2022
Dr Hindpal Singh Bhui24 March 2022
Mr Stephen Skitt17 March 2022
Mr Daniel Small28 February 2022
Ms Michelle Smith23 March 2022
Ms Vanessa Smith15 March 2022
Mr Aaron Stokes9 March 2022
Mr Owen Syred7 December 2021
Mr Darren Tomsett7 March 2022
Mr Callum Tulley29 November 2021, 30 November 2021, 1 December 2021, 2 December 2021, 9 March 2022
Reverend Nathan Ward7 December 2021
Mr David Webb3 March 2022
Mr Stephen Webb8 March 2022
Mr Luke Wells31 March 2022
Ms Helen Wilkinson24 March 2022
Ms Christine Williams10 March 2022
Mr Julian Williams16 March 2022
Mr James Wilson10 December 2021

Witnesses whose statements were read or summarised during the hearings

Name / cipherHearing date
D879 December 2021
D18023 March 2022
D31323 February 2022
D39323 March 2022
D52321 February 2022
D68722 February 2022
D79021 February 2022
D80122 February 2022
D123410 December 2021
Mr Hamish Arnott on behalf of D127522 February 2022
Ms Naomi Blackwell on behalf of D127522 February 2022
D147323 February 2022
D152721 February 2022
D153821 February 2022
D171310 December 2021
D17479 December 2021
D187623 March 2022
D191425 March 2022
D203310 December 2021
D20549 December 2021
D207721 February 2022
D215823 February 2022
D29539 December 2021


  1. D390 was also designated as a Core Participant on 12 March 2021 (represented by DPG Solicitors) but, following his request on 20 December 2021, the Chair de-designated him on 19 January 2022[]
  2. Professor Bosworth: INQ000064, INQ000123; Dr Hard: INQ000075, INQ000112; Mr Collier: INQ000111, INQ000158. See also Experts to the Inquiry, Brook House Inquiry[]
  3. In addition, while D1275 did not feel able to provide evidence to the Inquiry (either by way of a witness statement or orally), witness statements from Mr Hamish Arnott (D1275’s legal representative) and Ms Naomi Blackwell (former Advocacy Coordinator at Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group) were read into evidence so that D1275’s experiences at Brook House could also be considered by the Inquiry[]
  4. Undercover Policing Inquiry: Standard of Proof Ruling, 13 January 2016, paras 10-12, in particular Annex 1 (the submissions of Counsel to the Inquiry, see paras 35-39) []
  5. See The Report of the Baha Mousa Inquiry Volume 1 paras 1.114-1.115[]
  6. Ananyev v Russia (Applications nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08) (2012) 55 EHRR 18; Adali v Turkey (Application no. 38187/97) ECHR 2005, particularly paras 216 and 239. See also Varga v Hungary (2015) 61 EHRR 30 para 68 and Muršić v Croatia [2016] 10 WLUK 454 paras 127-128[]
  7. Undercover Policing Inquiry: Standard of Proof Ruling, 13 January 2016, para 11; The Report of the  Baha Mousa Inquiry Volume 1 paras 1.114-1.115[]
  8. Undercover Policing Inquiry: Standard of Proof Ruling, 13 January 2016, para 11. The civil standard of proof means finding facts ‘on the balance of probabilities’ – whether the event occurred was ‘more likely than not’[]
  9. See Terms of Reference, Brook House Inquiry[]
  10. See Adali v Turkey (Application no. 38187/97) ECHR 2005 paras 216 and 239; Ananyev v Russia(Applications nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08) (2012) 55 EHRR 18 para 121[]
  11. Adali v Turkey (Application no. 38187/97) ECHR 2005 paras 216 and 239; Ananyev v Russia (Applications nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08) (2012) 55 EHRR 18 para 121[]
  12. Adali v Turkey (Application no. 38187/97) ECHR 2005 paras 216 and 239; Ananyev v Russia (Applications nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08) (2012) 55 EHRR 18 para 121 []
  13. HOM0332165_20-22 para 67, see also paras 68-71; CJS0074153_8-9 paras 23-24[]
  14. HOM0332165_22 para 71; Gestmin SGPS S.A. v Credit Suisse[2013] EWCA 3560 (Comm). []
  15. In certain cases, applicants can provide at least some evidence in support of their claim. For example, the Court has considered as evidence written statements by fellow inmates or, if possible, photographs provided by applicants in support of their allegations. See, for example, Golubenko v Ukraine (36327/06) 5 November 2013 at [52] and cases cited, and also Tehrani v Turkey (Applications nos. 32940/08, 41626/08 and 43616/08) 13 April 2010 at [88][]
  16. Adali v Turkey (Application no. 38187/97) ECHR 2005 para 216[]
  17. Adali v Turkey (Application no. 38187/97) ECHR 2005 para 216 []
  18. Ananyev v Russia(Applications nos. 42525/07 and 60800/08) (2012) 55 EHRR 18 para 121. See also, among others, Nachova v Bulgaria (2006) 42 EHRR 43 at para 147; Ilaşcu v Moldova(2005) 40 EHRR 46 at para 26; and Akdivarv Turkey (Applications nos. 43577/98 and 43579/98) (1997) 23 EHRR 143 para 168[]
  19. Restriction order pursuant to section 19(2)(b) of the Inquiries Act 2005 in relation to the identity of  formerly detained individuals, Brook House Inquiry, 23 November 2021[]
  20. Letter from the Attorney General to the Chair, 11 January 2021[]
  21. Letter from the Chair to Minister Philp, 4 August 2021; see also Letter from Minister Philp to the  Chair, 19 July 2021[]