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Child trafficking victim awarded £85,000 from UK government following rape attempt in immigration centre

Related Member(s):
Samantha Knights QC, Helen Law
Related Practice Area(s):
Public Law

A victim of child trafficking has won £85,000 in compensation from the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice after he was sexually assaulted by a fellow inmate and illegally detained at Morton Hall immigration centre.

The victim, known as H, is a Vietnamese national who was trafficked to the UK by a criminal gang and forced to work cultivating cannabis at an empty property in Chesterfield. After the property was raided by police, H was found locked inside and was charged with cannabis cultivation. He was sentenced to eight months in a young offenders institution and was then transferred directly from incarceration to Morton Hall immigration centre in Lincolnshire.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD) was ordered to pay £82,000 to the Vietnamese national after it admitted that the teenager was being detained illegally when he was assaulted by a fellow inmate. The SSHD accepted that it broke its own policies by continuing to detain H illegally for a further six months after the attack despite having identified him as a victim of modern slavery. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) were ordered to pay a further £3,000 to H for failing to protect the teenager whilst he was detained for failing to launch an investigation following the attack.

Samantha Knights QC was instructed by Duncan Lewis for the claimant in the proceedings against the SSHD and Helen Law in the claim against the MOJ.

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