Belfast Telegraph

Ex-inmate loses court fight over jail search

By Alan Erwin

A former republican inmate has lost his legal battle over strip searches at a high-security Northern Ireland jail.

Brendan Conway was challenging the policy on full body searching of prisoners entering and leaving HMP Maghaberry.

But following a second appeal hearing, senior judges ruled that the process was not operated with total inflexibility.

Conway, from Belfast, issued judicial review proceedings over his alleged treatment while on remand in 2010 in connection with a tiger kidnapping.

Lawyers for Conway claimed rules were being breached by the use of force on inmates who neither give their consent nor resist.

Following previous High Court hearings a judge ruled that the policy was proportionate and lawful.

But the case returned to the Court of Appeal for a decision on whether an inflexible approach was taken by prison authorities.

Lord Justice Girvan said: "It has not been established that there was a total inflexibility on the part of the Prison Service in the operation of the policy."

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