The recent Court of Appeal decision of R (on the application of Vaclovias Faizovas (by Inga Faizovaite) v Secretary of State for Justice decided that a judge had been entitled to conclude that the handcuffing of a prisoner whilst he received chemotherapy treatment at a hospital did not breach his rights under Article 3 of the ECHR (prohibiting inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) as he represented a risk to the public and there was a risk that he would escape.

The appellant had been a category C prisoner serving a sentence of imprisonment for sexual assault. His restraints had been seen by members of the public and he had remained restrained throughout the administration of the chemotherapy, except on one occasion when the cuffs had been removed for the purposes of a scan. The risks of him absconding and causing harm to the public had been assessed on each occasion. The risk assessments were deemed to be reasonable and the prisoner’s own sense of humiliation was not sufficient to displace the importance of those assessments.

An alternative claim under Article 8 (right to respect for private life) was also unsuccessful on the grounds that even if there was interference with this right, it was justified under Article 8(2) as part and parcel of his receiving treatment.