Clifford v The Chief Constable of The Hertfordshire Constabulary: QBD 1 Apr 2011

The claimant alleged malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office bought by the claimant who was charged with child pornography offences in July 2004. The prosecution had eventually offered no evidence. He said that it should have been clear much earlier that no further action was sustainable, the prosecution expert having indicated that his evidence did not support the charge.
Held: The claim succeeded. For some time the officer in the case had had no honest belief that there was any supporting evidence for the possession charges other than the mere presence of the pop ups on the computer. It appeared that the officer, threatened with legal action persisted so as to resist that threat, and he had further acted to attempt to delay the trial. That amounted to malice.
As to damages, the damage was made worse by the nature of the allegation, and an award of andpound;20,000 was made.


Mackay J


[2011] EWHC 815 (QB)




England and Wales


CitedGlinski v McIver HL 1962
The court considered the tort of malicious prosecution when committed by a police officer, saying ‘But these cases must be carefully watched so as to see that there really is some evidence from his conduct that he knew it was a groundless charge.’ . .
CitedAtkins v Director of Public Prosecutions; Goodland v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 8-Mar-2000
For possession of an indecent image of a child to be proved, it was necessary to establish some knowledge of its existence. Images stored without the defendant’s knowledge by browser software in a hidden cache, of which he was also unaware, were not . .
CitedThompson v Commissioner of Police of Metropolis; Hsu v Same CA 20-Feb-1997
CS Damages of 200,000 pounds by way of exemplary damages had been awarded against the police for unlawful arrest and assault.
Held: The court gave a guideline maximum pounds 50,000 award against police for . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Police

Updated: 12 September 2022; Ref: scu.439830