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The House of Lords said the Borstal authorities owed a duty of care to the owners of the property near the camp

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Introduction

1. Did the Home Office, its servants, or agents owe a duty of care to Dorset Yacht Co? In this case, there were ten borstal trainees working on an island in a harbour in the custody and under the control of three officers. During the night, seven of them escaped, after the officers had gone to bed and left the trainees to their own devices. The seven got on board a yacht moored off the island, and set the boat in motion. They collided with another yacht, the property of the respondent, and damaged it. The House of Lords said the Borstal authorities owed a duty of care to the owners of the property near the camp, as the taking of the yacht and the causing ...read more.

Middle

Claimant; a 14 year old boy who was seriously injured when he and a friend had propped it up on a car jack while they tried to repair the boat that fell on him. In this case, the judge observed that the boat would be something that would attract children to meddle with, and some injury was foreseeable if children played around with it, as the structure was unsafe. The occupier therefore had a duty to protect a child from danger caused by meddling with such an object by taking reasonable steps in the circumstances including, where appropriate, removing the object altogether as so to avoid the prospect of injury. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this case, the Defendant, Home Office responsible for prisons where a 21 year old mentally ill prisoner committed suicide while in the hospital wing of Brixton Prison. Claimant, the deceased's personal representative suing on behalf of his infant son. The prisoner was known to have suicidal tendencies and was on 15 minute watch. The argument that the same standard of care applied to prison as to psychiatric hospitals failed, as the primary function of the prison was to detain the inmates and, although the prison was required to care for physically and mentally ill prisoners, it could not be expected to provide the same degree of care as hospitals outside. There was no evidence that the prison doctors were negligent in their care. The Claimant lost. 2. Was there a breach of duty? ?? ?? ?? ?? Clare Gilmore 1 ...read more.

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