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James Berry appears in large misfeasance in public office claim

10th February 2023

James Berry represented Merseyside Police in its successful defence of a misfeasance in public office claim pleaded at around £14,000,000. The Claimants, one of whom was a retired police officer, had been arrested in 2011 and prosecuted for drugs smuggling offences following a major investigation by SOCA (now the NCA) into the Claimants, their alleged co-conspirators, and their fruit importing company.

They faced trial in 2012 and then three retrials until one of the Claimants became unfit to plead and the prosecution of the other Claimant was stayed. Their claim in misfeasance in public office was based on contact one of the Claimants, a sometime police informant, had with a Merseyside Police officer about becoming a ‘participating informant’.

Following a trial which concluded on 10 February 2023, Mr Christopher Kennedy KC, sitting as Recorder of the County Court, dismissed the claim, finding that the Merseyside Police officer had not encouraged the Claimant to get involved in with an OCG, not failed to give criminality warnings and not fabricated a log of their contact to give a false impression as to those matters as alleged. Neither the material facts, nor malice, nor causation were made out.

James was led by Andrew Warnock KC of Deka Chambers

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