R (on the application of Downes) v Secretary of State Justice and another

Prison – Life sentence. The claimant was charged with conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to damage property with intent to endanger life. He escaped custody and remained unlawfully at large for eight months. He was convicted and sentenced in his absence to two discretionary life sentences. After he was recaptured, he was placed in a category A prison with an 'exceptional escape risk' classification. On two subsequent occasions, the Director of High Security Prisons reviewed and decided to maintain that classification. The claimant sought judicial review of those decisions. Dismissing the claim, the Administrative Court held that what was required for the relevant classification was valid intelligence that cogently established to the satisfaction of the director that an attempt was being planned. In the instant case, such intelligence had existed and there had been a reasonable basis for the director's decision.

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