Northern Ireland

Bid to sue PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott for £1bn rejected

Matt Baggott
Image caption The bid to sue Matt Baggott for £1bn was thrown out by Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan

A man has failed in a legal bid to sue Chief Constable Matt Baggott for £1bn.

Northern Ireland's most senior judge rejected William John Morrow's appeal against having his action thrown out of the High Court.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said: "It doesn't appear to us that Mr Morrow has an arguable case with a reasonable prospect of success."

Mr Morrow also alleged that "verified criminals" had been allowed into the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Representing himself, Mr Morrow brought a lawsuit over police recruitment processes.

Proceedings initiated against Mr Baggott and Deputy Chief Constable Judith Gillespie sought awards of £1bn and £40m.

Mr Morrow claimed it was a breach of human rights to replace RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) George Cross Medal officers with others from Strathclyde Police.

With two separate judges having already rejected his case, he brought a final challenge before the Court of Appeal.

During exchanges on Friday he said: "Strathclyde Police are not excused from prosecution under the peace process of Northern Ireland."

At one stage he claimed the action was being taken on behalf of officers from the RUC, RAF and Royal Navy.

But pressed by Sir Declan, he confirmed the writ was issued in his own name.

The three-judge panel decided to refuse his application without hearing from the proposed respondents.

Sir Declan pointed out that it was necessary to determine whether he had a cause of action with any chance of success.

"Mr Morrow has not applied for any post in relation to the PSNI, nor has he been replaced so far as the PSNI is concerned," he said.

Refusing leave to appeal the earlier decision, the judge added: "This court can only act on the basis of causes of action recognised in law."