Merseyside Police

Court rules that there are two sides to every story

Court rules that there are two sides to every story

IODPA would like to congratulate David Lock QC and Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors for another successful judgement that was handed down last week by the High Court in the case of R (Michaelides) v Police Medical Appeal Board [2019] EWHC 1434 (Admin).

We have included the full judgement at the bottom of the article for you to read.

Robin Michaelides moved to Scotland in 2001 from South Africa where he was a police officer, and joined a Scottish force. He did well there, and passed the promotion exam for the rank of Sergeant, before transferring to Merseyside Police.

He was promised by Merseyside that his promotion qualification would be accepted, but that promise was soon broken. Robin also faced numerous incidents of racial abuse and discrimination from his fellow officers in Merseyside. Senior officers did nothing to address the concerns he raised and seem to have instead viewed him as a troublemaker.

Robin was given no assistance in getting up to speed with English law, and was posted to CID without any appropriate training.

His health suffered under the persistent abuse, and eventually in 2015 after several periods of sick leave he was made subject to an Unsatisfactory Attendance Procedure, the stress of which only served to worsen his mental health. Robin was retired from Merseyside by the Chief Constable in August 2015.

His application for an injury award was rejected, and Robin appealed the decision to a Police Medical Appeal Board, where it was again refused.

The matter was successfully challenged, and the decision of the court is that the matter should be remitted back to a (preferably new) PMAB.

 

David Lock QC had the following to say about the case –

The court affirmed (albeit on an obiter basis) the approach of the Court of Appeal in Boskovic to the Evans/Doubtfire point.  That, of course, may or may not remain good law depending on the outcome of the application for permission to appeal in Boskovic to the Supreme Court (which awaits a decision).

However, perhaps more significantly, the claim was successful because the Court affirmed the need for the PMAB to act as a proper fact finding tribunal where there are disputed facts.  Thus a PMAB which fails to act as a proper fact finding tribunal before exercising its medical decision making function will act unlawfully.”

 

This is an important case because there are often two version of events presented to an SMP or a PMAB, one from the officer, and one from the force. What it instructs the medical authorities to do is to consider all the evidence available regardless of the source and give sufficient consideration before dismissing one version or the other.

 

Michaelides