Prison not 'inhuman or degrading' judges rules

Extradition order granted in High Court

Court Reporter

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Court Reporter

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The High Court has ordered the surrender of a man who claimed he would be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment in Northern Ireland's Maghaberry Prison if extradited to face a murder charge.

The man, who cannot be named due to a court order, is wanted to face a charge of murdering 30-year-old Jennifer Dornan who was found stabbed to death in her burning house in Hazel View in the Lagmore area of west Belfast in August 2015.
Justice Aileen Donnelly said earlier hearings had focused on Britain's exit from the EU but in the light of a judgment by the Court of Justice of the European Union there was no further argument on that point.

Initial concerns about "systemic and generalised deficiencies" in the Northern Irish Prison System (NIPS) had been addressed, she said, and there was no "substantial risk that this particular respondent will be subjected to such a risk."

She said the judicial authority in Northern Ireland had set out in detail the processes of risk assessment and prevention that the prisoner will be subjected to. A major concern was the risk of self-harm, she said, but Justice Donnelly was satisfied that the NIPS had put in place protocols to ensure the safety of such vulnerable prisoners.

She further stated that there is a "robust inspectorate system for the prisons in Northern Ireland" and evidence that the prisons respond to those inspections. 

She added: "Where adverse findings have been made, real action has been taken."

Ordering his surrender to the UK, she said: "I am satisfied that there are no substantial grounds for believing that this respondent is at real risk of inhuman and degrading treatment should he be surrendered."