Wainwright and another v Home Office: HL 16 Oct 2003

The claimant and her son sought to visit her other son in Leeds Prison. He was suspected of involvement in drugs, and therefore she was subjected to strip searches. There was no statutory support for the search. The son’s penis had been touched which was a battery.
Held: The policy considerations which limit the heads of recoverable damage in negligence do not apply equally to torts of intention. Wilkinson v Downton does not provide a remedy for distress not amounting to recognized psychiatric injury. The prison officers acted in good faith, and there had been no more than ‘sloppiness’ in their failures to comply with the rules. The House could not extend the law to create a new tort of invasion of privacy to provide for damages for distress alone. The existence of a Convention right cannot call for instant manufacture of a corresponding common law right where none exists.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Scott of Foscote
[2003] UKHL 53, Times 20-Oct-2003, [2003] 3 WLR 1137, 2004] 2 AC 406
House of Lords, Bailii
Prisons Act 1952 47(1), European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLetang v Cooper CA 15-Jun-1964
The plaintiff, injured in an accident, pleaded trespass to the person, which was not a breach of duty within the proviso to the section, in order to achieve the advantages of a six-year limitation period.
Held: Trespass is strictly speaking . .
CitedCollins v Wilcock QBD 1984
The defendant appealed against her conviction for assaulting a police constable in the execution of his duty. He had sought to caution her with regard to activity as a prostitute. The 1959 Act gave no power to detain, but he took hold of her. She . .
MentionedWilson v Pringle CA 26-Mar-1986
Two boys played in a school yard. D said he had pulled a bag from the other’s shoulder as an ordinary act of horseplay. The plaintiff said it was a battery.
Held: The defendant’s appeal against summary judgment was allowed. A claim of trespass . .
DistinguishedWilkinson v Downton 8-May-1997
Thomas Wilkinson, the landlord of a public house, went off by train, leaving his wife Lavinia behind the bar. A customer of the pub, Downton played a practical joke on her. He told her, falsely, that her husband had been involved in an accident and . .
CitedMalone v Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis (No 2) ChD 28-Feb-1979
The court considered the lawfulness of telephone tapping. The issue arose following a trial in which the prosecution had admitted the interception of the plaintiff’s telephone conversations under a warrant issued by the Secretary of State. The . .
CitedKhorasandjian v Bush CA 16-Feb-1993
The plaintiff was an eighteen year old girl who had had a friendship with the defendant, aged 28. The friendship broke down and the plaintiff said she would have no more to do with him, but the defendant did not accept this. There were many . .
MentionedKhan v The United Kingdom ECHR 12-May-2000
Evidence was acknowledged to have been obtained unlawfully and in breach of another article of the Convention. The police had installed covert listening devices on private property without the knowledge or consent of the owner. UK national law did . .
CitedHunter and Others v Canary Wharf Ltd HL 25-Apr-1997
The claimant, in a representative action complained that the works involved in the erection of the Canary Wharf tower constituted a nuisance in that the works created substantial clouds of dust and the building blocked her TV signals, so as to limit . .
CitedRegina v Khan (Sultan) HL 2-Jul-1996
The police had obtained the evidence against the defendant by fixing a covert listening device at an apartment visited by the defendant, and by recording his conversations there. The defendant appealed, saying that the court should have regard to . .
CitedKaye v Robertson CA 16-Mar-1990
A newspaper reporter and photographer invaded the (famouse) plaintiff’s hospital bedroom, purported to interview him and took photographs.
Held: The law of trespass provided no remedy because the plaintiff was not owner or occupier of the room . .
CitedEarl Spencer v United Kingdom ECHR 1998
The English law of confidence provided an adequate remedy to restrain the publication of private information about the applicants’ marriage and medical condition and photographs taken with a telephoto lens. These developments showed that the basic . .
CitedCampbell v Mirror Group Newspapers plc CA 14-Oct-2002
The newspaper appealed against a finding that it had infringed the claimant’s privacy by publishing a photograph of her leaving a drug addiction clinic.
Held: The claimant had courted publicity, and denied an involvement in drugs. The defence . .
CitedDerbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others HL 18-Feb-1993
Local Council may not Sue in Defamation
Local Authorities must be open to criticism as political and administrative bodies, and so cannot be allowed to sue in defamation. Such a right would operate as ‘a chill factor’ on free speech. Freedom of speech was the underlying value which . .
CitedPeck v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Jan-2003
peck_ukECHR2003
The claimant had been filmed by CCTV. He had, after attempting suicide, left home with a knife, been arrested by the police and disarmed, but then sent home without charge. The CCTV film was used on several occasions to advertise the effectiveness . .
CitedWong v Parkside Health NHS Trust and Another CA 16-Nov-2001
The claimant had sued her former employer for post-traumatic stress resulting from alleged harassment at her place of work. The claimant appealed against an order refusing damages. The court had held that outside the 1997 Act which was not in force . .
CitedVictorian Railway Commissioners v Coultas PC 21-Jan-1888
(Victoria) The appellant’s gatekeeper had negligently invited the plaintiffs to cross a railway line as a train approached. There was no collision, but the plaintiff sought damages for physical and mental injuries from shock.
Held: The . .
CitedDulieu v White and Sons KBD 1901
A pregnant barmaid suffered nervous shock causing her to give premature birth as a result of the tortfeasor’s horse van bursting into her bar at the Bonner Arms in Bethnal Green from the roadway. The defendant pleaded that the damages claimed were . .
CitedJanvier v Sweeney 1919
During the First World War Mlle Janvier lived as a paid companion in a house in Mayfair and corresponded with her German lover who was interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man. Sweeney was a private detective who wanted secretly to obtain some . .
CitedValasinas v Lithuania ECHR 24-Jul-2001
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 3 with regard to body search; No violation of Art. 3 with regard to other complaints; Violation of Art. 8; No violation of Art. 34; Non-pecuniary . .
CitedIwanczuk v Poland ECHR 15-Nov-2001
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 3; Violation of Art. 5-3; Violation of Art. 6-1; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses . .
CitedLorse and Others v The Netherlands ECHR 4-Feb-2003
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 3 with regard to the first applicant ; No violation of Art. 3 with regard to the other applicants ; No violation of Art. 8 ; No violation of Art. 13 . .
CitedHicks v Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police 1992
. .
Appeal fromThe Home Office v Wainwright and Wainwright CA 20-Dec-2001
The claimants were awarded damages, following the way they were searched on seeking to enter prison on a visit. The Home Office appealed. They were asked to sign a consent form, but only after the search was nearly complete. They were told the . .

Cited by:
CitedAB and others v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust QBD 26-Mar-2004
Representative claims were made against the respondents, hospitals, pathologists etc with regard to the removal of organs from deceased children without the informed consent of the parents. They claimed under the tort of wrongful interference.
CitedCampbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd (MGN) (No 1) HL 6-May-2004
The claimant appealed against the denial of her claim that the defendant had infringed her right to respect for her private life. She was a model who had proclaimed publicly that she did not take drugs, but the defendant had published a story . .
CitedGreene v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant appealed against refusal of an order restraining publication by the respondent of an article about her. She said that it was based upon an email falsely attributed to her.
Held: ‘in an action for defamation a court will not impose . .
CitedLangley and others v Liverpool City Council and others CA 11-Oct-2005
Families had challenged the removal of their children into the care of foster parents by the respondents. The family father, who was blind, had taken to driving. The respondents appealed findings that they had acted unlawfully and in breach of the . .
CitedWatkins v Home Office and others HL 29-Mar-2006
The claimant complained of misfeasance in public office by the prisons for having opened and read protected correspondence whilst he was in prison. The respondent argued that he had suffered no loss. The judge had found that bad faith was . .
CitedKD v Chief Constable of Hampshire QBD 23-Nov-2005
The claimant’s daughter had made a complaint of rape. She alleged that she was sexually harassed by the investigating police officer, and sought damages also from the defendant, his employer. The officer denied that anything improper or . .
At House of LordsWainwright v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Sep-2006
The claimants complained of having been strip searched when visiting a relative at Leeds Prison.
Held: The complaint succeeded: ‘the searches were proportionate to that legitimate aim in the manner in which they were carried out. Where . .
CitedHertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
CitedGoogle Inc v Vidal-Hall and Others CA 27-Mar-2015
Damages for breach of Data Protection
The claimants sought damages alleging that Google had, without their consent, collected personal data about them, which was resold to advertisers. They used the Safari Internet browser on Apple products. The tracking and collation of the claimants’ . .
CitedOPO v MLA and Another QBD 18-Jul-2014
A boy now sought an interim injunction to restrain his father, the defendant classical musician, from publishing his autobiography which mentioned him. The book would say that the father had suffered sexual abuse as a child at school.
Held: . .
CitedOPO v MLA and Another CA 9-Oct-2014
The claimant child sought to prevent publication by his father of an autobiography which, he said, would be likely to cause him psychological harm. The father was well known classical musician who said that he had himself suffered sexual abuse as a . .
CitedRhodes v OPO and Another SC 20-May-2015
The mother sought to prevent a father from publishing a book about his life. It was to contain passages she said may cause psychological harm to their 12 year old son. Mother and son lived in the USA and the family court here had no jurisdiction to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 January 2021; Ref: scu.186776