Mr Matthew McConville, the Head of our specialised Data Breach Department at Irvings Law has successfully represented a client by the name of Mr Colin Shaw in a data breach compensation claim against Cheshire Constabulary.
Sometime in 2018, Mr Shaw received a letter through his door about committing a driving offence which he did not turn up to Court for. Upon receipt of this letter, Mr Shaw called Cheshire Constabulary and confirmed that it was not him or his vehicle involved with the same. However, Cheshire Constabulary did not do anything about this. Instead, Cheshire Constabulary advised Mr Shaw to contact the Court and tell them this information to see if they could help him. As advised, Mr Shaw did this and so called Chester Magistrates’ Court who then told him that he had to attend Court where he can make representations to the Judge.
Again as advised, Mr Shaw attended Court without any legal representation and made submissions to the Judge that this offence did not relate to him and he also provided proof from the DVLA. This evidence was a letter which confirmed that Mr Shaw’s records had been checked and his name and address is not recorded under the current or previous keeper details about the vehicle registration number subject to the above mentioned driving offence.
Despite this, the Judge adjourned proceedings to Warrington Magistrates’ Court to be dealt with. Whilst waiting for the new hearing, Mr Shaw lodged a complaint to Cheshire Constabulary and he not long after received an email confirming that the Central Ticket Office had told the Court the wrong person had committed the said driving offence. As such, the case against Mr Shaw was then withdrawn and there was no need for Mr Shaw to attend the new hearing.
As Cheshire Constabulary had committed an obvious error to Mr Shaw which resulted in him being criminally prosecuted through no fault of his own, he sought Mr McConville to seek compensation for him. Without hesitation, Mr McConville offered to act for Mr Shaw on a no win, no fee basis and once instructed, a Letter of Claim was submitted to Cheshire Constabulary.
Mr McConville alleged that as there had been an inaccurate processing of Mr Shaw’s information, Cheshire Constabulary had breached / invaded Mr Shaw’s privacy under the Human Rights Act, had breached the Data Protection Act 2018/the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as confidence following their misuse of private information pertaining to Mr Shaw.
In response to the presented claim, and without admitting liability, Cheshire Constabulary made an offer to Mr Shaw which was in the sum of £1,600.00 plus his legal costs. Mr McConville advised Mr Shaw to reject this offer and make a counter-offer in the sum of £4,000.00 plus his legal costs. In response, Cheshire Constabulary increased their offer to settle Mr Shaw’s case in the sum of £2,750.00 again plus his legal costs. Mr McConville advised Mr Shaw that he should again reject the same but to bring matters to a swift closure, Mr Shaw went against Mr McConville’s advice and wished to accept this offer from Cheshire Constabulary.