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Freed prisoner wins £10,000 damages

Freed prisoner wins £10,000 damages

The Court of Appeal in London has awarded £10,000 in damages to a man who spent 10 more months in prison than he should have.

Presiding judges Lord Justice Sedley, Lord Justice Hooper and Lord Justice Wilson revealed that the money awarded to Daniel Faulkner was "appropriate and necessary" to compensate for the unjustified delay in having his case heard by the Parole Board.

Faulkner was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and, as it was his second offence of that kind, he was sentenced to life in 2001. His minimum period in custody was two years, eight-and-a-half months, after which he became eligible for parole in April 2004.

The Parole Board rejected his bid for release but instead recommended he be transferred to an open prison in May 2005 and January 2007.

This was not approved by the Justice Secretary but Faulkner was told in an accompanying letter that he would have a hearing and decision on his release by the end of January 2008.

However, his case was not referred until December 2007 and was not heard until January 2009, when the board directed he should be freed from prison on January 27 that year.

The monetary award by the Court of Appeal in London follows a ruling last December that the Secretary of State and the Parole Board were liable to Faulkner for his unlawful detention, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Counsel for Faulkner had argued for an award of £32,000, while lawyers for the other side said no more than £3,500 was appropriate.

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