Judgment in MD v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 2249 (Admin)


The judge accepted evidence that detention had caused mental illness, see paras 32 and 139 in particular:


“The Claimant was seen by a further psychiatrist after her release who confirmed the earlier diagnoses of a severe depressive episode and panic attacks. Her mental state seemed to be improving since antidepressant therapy and she seemed to be making gradual but good progress. Reports earlier this year from Dr Wilhelm Skogstad conclude that the depressive illness suffered by the Claimant during detention was “precipitated by the experience of detention and …detention was experienced as a trauma at the time and this has led to on-going symptoms of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” His view is that “detention did not exacerbate a pre-existing mental disorder but caused the onset of the mental disorder that was subsequently manifest.” It is his opinion that “the management and treatment of MD’s psychiatric condition at Yarl’s Wood was inadequate in a number of ways and not appropriate to her mental state and her severe suffering. In my view it contributed to the deterioration in her mental state in detention and the prolonging of her mental suffering.”

[139] I accept the doctor’s opinions that detention did not exacerbate a pre-existing mental disorder but caused the onset of the mental disorder that was subsequently manifest. Dr Bingham’s report and the Claimant’s actions which led up to it should have brought home to the Defendant’s officials that the Claimant was an individual whose condition should be reviewed as a matter of urgency to determine whether  continued detention was likely to exacerbate her mental state. That was not adequately done. Her behaviour was seen as an attempt to thwart her removal and dealt with in that light and not as a symptom of an underlying deteriorating mental illness.”

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