Court of Appeal grant permission to challenge damages award made to suspect wrongly accused of Daniel Morgan axe murder

Males LJ has granted permission to appeal against the Order of Cheema -Grubb J dated 31 July 2019, who awarded Jonathan Rees a total of £155,000 in damages for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office following his misconceived and wrongful prosecution for the notorious and unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan on 10 March 1987.

The appeal will consider the relationship between damages in immigration detention cases and those typically awarded against the backdrop of police misconduct and misconducted criminal proceedings.

Rees and his co-accused Glenn Vian spent 682 days in prison, a significant period of which was in Category A, followed by a year with stringent bail conditions.

Rees and his co-accused had sued the Metropolitan Police, but in a highly controversial judgment Mitting J. found that whilst the senior investigating officer had perverted the course of justice by concocting evidence against the men, that, (legally) deprived them of damages, as properly analysed it was a case of noble cause corruption.  What mattered, when he fabricated the evidence of an eye witness was whether he believed the men were guilty, which he did. (The judgment can be found here)

The Court of Appeal overturned the judgement and sent the case back for an assessment of damages. (The judgment can be found here)

The £155,000 award comprised £60,000 for loss of liberty, £27,000 for distress arising from the prosecution, £18,000 for aggravated damages and £50,000 for exemplary damages (one third share of the overall exemplary damages award of £150,000).

Nicholas Bowen QC and David Lemer are instructed by Freedman Alexander who have represented Jonathan Rees for over 25 years.

The case has been widely covered in the media, including the BBC, The Guardian and ITV.

Cheema Grubb’s judgment can be found here.