Three HMP prison officers accused of misconduct in a public office following the death of a prisoner in 2013 have been cleared of all charges at Nottingham Crown Court.

Mr Philip Marshall, Mr Paul Atkin and Mr Auvil Graham were found not guilty by His Honour Judge Dickinson QC on 13 December 2017, who said it was clear the officers had no case to answer and that there was no evidence of criminal conduct.

"While we’re pleased with the not guilty verdict, it’s disappointing that this case has taken four years to resolve. Innocent public servants are often ostracised but we remain dedicated to fighting for their rights and to ensure the delivery of justice."

Paula Porter
of Thompsons Solicitors

Gemma Zakrzewski, a criminal law solicitor from Thompsons Solicitors, ran Mr Atkins’ case on behalf of the POA.

In a statement issued by the officers’ trade union, the Prison Officers’ Association, its general secretary, Steve Gillan, said: “We are delighted by the strong judgment of His Honour Judge Dickinson QC which sets out comprehensively that prison officers, Mr Philip Marshall, Mr Paul Atkin and Mr Auvil Graham had no case to answer. He indicated that this was “crystal clear”.

“Sadly, it has taken several years since the tragic death of Mr Moore for this case to come to Court and for Mr Marshall, Mr Atkin and Mr Graham to receive, in a full considered judgment, a validation of their position.

“They are very grateful to their legal teams who, from the very start, identified the flaws in the case against them and to the Judge who enabled a just verdict of not guilty, with no case for them to answer.”

Paula Porter, practice lead for the professional misconduct and criminal law division at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The criminal charges against our client and his colleagues should never have been brought, as there was no evidence to suggest they were guilty of misconduct. Mr Moore’s death was a tragic accident and the punishment of these officers would have not only destroyed their lives, but also that of their families. While we’re pleased with the not guilty verdict, it’s disappointing that this case has taken four years to resolve.

“Innocent public servants are often ostracised but we remain dedicated to fighting for their rights and to ensure the delivery of justice.”