Damages for trio cleared of murder

Chief Constable accepts innocence in malicious prosecution settlement

Three people wrongly accused of murder settled their civil actions against the Chief Constable of Northumbria today after the police accepted they were innocent and paid damages and costs.


Joanne Morgan, Ian Morgan and Shaun Doyle were arrested in 2000 by police re-investigating the killing of Kevin Nightingale in South Shields in February 1996.


They had driven Mr Nightingale home from work at the Oz nightclub moments before he was gunned down outside his house.


The first prosecution against them collapsed because of a lack of evidence in November 2000 before they were re-arrested in July 2001. That case collapsed in December 2001 and not guilty verdicts were entered.


Shaun Doyle and Joanne Morgan (backed by the Legal Services Commission) brought proceedings for false imprisonment, malicious procurement of a warrant for further detention, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office. Ian Morgan, being ineligible for public funding, did not bring proceedings but having waived his right to do so was included in the Chief Constable’s public statement of their innocence. The case settled after opening speeches.


5RB‘s Adam Speker was junior counsel for the Claimants (instructed by Geoffrey Forrester & Co).