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In Birmingham City Council v Jerome Jones and others, which is believed to be the largest gang injunction claim ever brought, Jonathan Manning and Alice Richardson successfully represented the claiman

In the claim, which was brought by the local authority in conjunction with West Midlands Police, injunctions were obtained against all 18 defendants, including some gang members who were serving prisoners. The terms obtained applied both within the prison estate and in the city, and included restrictions on association, entering certain parts of the city, using social media, having mobile phones, and taking part in music videos.

On 12 July 2017, Her Honour Judge Wall gave judgment granting 16 gang injunctions (Part 4, Policing and Crime Act 2009) and one anti-social behaviour injunction (Part 1, Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014). One additional order was made by the Youth Court.

Interim Injunction had been in place against all the respondents since February 2016. The injunctions themselves were drawn up over the following few weeks.

Judge Wall held, inter alia, that:

(1) An applicant for a gang injunction may rely upon incidents that occurred prior to the 2009 Act coming into force (and prior to the amendments made by Serious Crime Act 2015). This did not offend against the principles of retrospectivity: R v Field [2002] EWCA Crim 2913; [2003] 1 WLR 882 followed.

(2) The Court had power to impose injunctions on serving prisoners and, on the evidence, including that of a former prison governor, it was appropriate to do so.

(3) On sentencing for contempt of court following breach of an injunction, the county court has the power to impose a sentence of imprisonment to run consecutively to a custodial sentence imposed by the criminal courts: R v Anomo (Taiye Olokun) [1998] 2 Cr App R (S) 269 and Lee v Walker [1985] QB 1191 considered.

(4) The two-year limitation on the duration of a term contained in an injunction (s.36(2), 2009 Act) operated from the grant of the final injunction and not from the grant of any interim injunction.

(5) In seeking to restrict participation in music videos, the authority was not seeking to prohibit engagement in legitimate musical activity, a number of the respondents had taken part in music videos which were provocative and inflammatory. The granting of injunctions did not amount to disproportionate interference with the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights: R (Gaunt) v Ofcom [2011] EWCA Civ 692, [2011] 1 WLR 2355 considered.

The first respondent’s application for a declaration that the statutorily prescribed standard of proof applicable in claims for injunctions under both Acts is incompatible with Article 6 of the ECHR had been transferred to the High Court. On 11 October 2016 the application was refused but permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal was granted by Burton J. The matter is expected to be heard in April 2018.

On 22nd August 2017 West Midlands Police began serving the final injunctions on the respondents. The case has subsequently received substantial media coverage including on the BBCThe GuardianThe Times and The Telegraph.

Jonathan Manning and Alice Richardson successfully represented the claimant authority.

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