Two former detainees have won the first stage of a High Court bid for a public inquiry to investigate alleged abuse at the Brook House Detention Centre near Gatwick Airport in London.

Brook House which is run by G4S, holds up to 508 adult male asylum seekers, illegal immigrants and foreign national offenders. In September the BBC programme Panorama, uncovered widespread abuse at the centre. As a result of the programme ten staff members were suspended.

At Court on Tuesday Solicitors representing two former detainees said that a “full and independent and public inquiry was needed to address issues of very grave concern.”

Allegations have been made that one of the men was “subjected to intentional assaults, humiliation and degradation by officers and on one occasion an officer threatened to put him to sleep while digging his fingers into his neck.”

His Solicitor said that “He resorted to self-harm by food refusal and wounding himself and to multiple attempts at suicide by hanging or strangling.”

The second man’s Solicitor commented, “What is striking about the Panorama programme is not just what happened, but how widespread it appears to have been, and the period over which the abuses were committed. Perhaps even more striking, however, is the complete failure of any safeguarding mechanism to pick up what was happening.”

Immigration Minister Caroline Noakes described the allegations as “appalling” She further said, “that she was appalled by the Panorama footage, and is determined that lessons are learned and there is a change of culture.”

Mr Justice Holman gave both men permission for a judicial review into the decision not to order a public inquiry to take place. A date has not yet been set for the hearing.

Jordans Solicitors represent victims of abuse. If you would like help in pursuing a civil claim for compensation, please make contact with us by email, telephone on our Freephone number or by completing a request call back form.

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