Belfast Telegraph

Schoolboy, 14, can sue the PSNI over station quiz

BY ALAN ERWIN

A 14-year-old schoolboy has been given permission to sue the PSNI for damages after he was wrongfully imprisoned, the High Court has ruled.

He was unlawfully taken out of a juvenile centre and detained by police for questioning, senior judges held.

The boy had been remanded in custody at Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre last November when officers took him to Bangor police station to be interviewed about separate offences.

He was returned the same day. Police later accepted they had no power for his removal under the 1953 Prison Act they had used.

Judicial review proceedings were issued on behalf of the boy by his father. He challenged the PSNI's decision to take his son out and the centre's decision to release him.

It was set out during the hearing that the Juvenile Justice Centre Rules (NI) 2008 allows a police officer to interview any child on production of an order issued by the chief constable.

But Lord Justice Girvan pointed out that no such production order was made or sought.

The judge said: "The applicant is free to bring such civil proceedings to claim damages for wrongful imprisonment by the PSNI as he is advised."

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