On the 1 May 2014 the Court of Appeal dismissed a claimaints application to sought judicial review of the decision of the secretary of state to recall him.
The claimaint had been admitted to hospital on two occasions. On his second discharge he had been diagnosed with chronic paranoid delusional disorder, drug misuse and a sociopathic personality disorder. He was convicted of burglary and arson. When sentenced, a hospital order and a restriction order were made under sections 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (The 1983 Act).
Fifteen months later, the claimant applied for discharge from hospital to the First-tier Tribunal – Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (The FTT). The FTT found that it was not satisfied that the claimant had paranoid schizophrenia but found that he did have an antisocial personality disorder. It was satisfied that treatment could be provided and it was possible that such treatment could be provided in the community. The claimant was subsequently conditionally discharged in to the community.
A month later, the claimant’s social supervisor requested a formal recall as the claimant’s mental health had deteriorated and he presented an increased risk to the public. That same day, the defendant secretary of state recalled the claimant by the power conferred by section 42(3) of The 1983 Act and a formal signed warrant was sent which stated the hospital to which the claimant was to be recalled however, it did not give reasons for the recall. Five days later, the secretary of state wrote to the claimant’s responsible clinician and stated that he should inform the claimant as soon as possible, and in any event within 72 hours, of the reasons for his recall. It was not until two weeks after his recall, the claimant met with his new responsible clinician and the social supervisor’s report was read to him.
The claimant issued proceedings seeking judicial review of the decision to recall him. He contended that his recall had been effected unlawfully and that his subsequent detention had been unlawful. He sought damages for false imprisonment pursuant to Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights. His application was dismissed.
The judge held that the secretary of state had not been bound, under a duty either at common law or under Article 5, to provide his reasons for recalling a patient in writing at the time of recall. He further found that the reason given to the claimant when he had been detained had simply been that his mental health had deteriorated.
The claimant then appealed and submitted, inter alia, that: (i) the secretary of state had been under a duty to provide his written reasons for the recall when the warrant was executed but had failed to do so; and (ii) the oral reasons that had been given to him when the warrant was exercised had been inadequate.
The appeal was dismissed.