Head of Civil Liberties
Vicky joined Hudgell Solicitors in 1998 and has more than 20 years’ experience in securing compensation for those who have suffered physically, psychologically and financially through no fault of their own.
Her caseload includes work relating to civil liberties, police assault, unlawful arrest, breaches of Data Protection laws and human rights.
She has represented clients at inquest, including families of the victims of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, in which 22 people lost their lives. Vicky has previously specialised in personal injury and has worked for two other law firms before joining Hudgell Solicitors.
I have always been passionate about helping people who suffer hurt and loss as a result of the actions of others. That was always what motivated me in supporting my personal injury clients, and it remains the same with regards to human rights breaches and in cases against police forces and state bodies.
In many ways I feel our legal expertise and experience is needed much more when individuals find themselves considering legal action against state bodies such as police forces and prisons.
Our role is to fight for those individuals and ensure police officers and forces are held fully to account for their actions, with complete transparency.
I have worked alongside Neil Hudgell in representing the family of former Welsh Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant, who was found dead days after being sacked from the Labour party. Carl committed suicide in November 2017 after being sacked from his cabinet post as Secretary for Communities and Children. Allegations had been made against him, but he was never told what they were, and his impending removal from government was leaked to the media before he knew. We were successful with our judicial review of the Welsh Government’s decision to exclude the family from participating effectively in the independent inquiry into how Mr Sargeant was sacked by the (now former) First Minister Carwyn Jones. We also represented the family at inquest, when the coroner recorded a conclusion of ‘suicide’ and said he believed there was ‘a real risk that future deaths will occur in the event of political sackings unless action is taken by the Welsh Government.’
I continue to represent June Tron, mother of Philip, who was killed in the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017. He was one of 22 people killed when Salman Abedi detonated a home-made device in the arena foyer as around 14,000 people left the building. Inquests have been opened and adjourned, with a retired High Court Judge, Sir John Saunders, selected to be Coroner when the inquests are eventually held in 2020. The inquests will focus on whether the attack could have been prevented by the authorities, the events in the build-up to the attack and as the security inside and outside the Arena. These are, of course, all areas families are desperate for more information and answers.
I represent the victim of a historic sexual assault, who many years later discovered that the police had misplaced a disc containing the interview provided following the attack. Following an investigation by the IOPC, it also came to light that a forensic report had been misread by an officer. That same officer then mocked my client in a series of emails, suggesting my client was disingenuous. As a result of this, disciplinary action was taken against a number of officers involved, two of which resigned from their post.
In a case against Greater Manchester Police I successfully secured compensation for two minors who were the victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a relative. The police force failed to investigate concerns that had been raised at their home address, which could have resulted in the perpetrator being arrested several months sooner than they were.
I also successfully secured compensation for an elderly lady who felt harassed as officers of West Yorkshire Police repeatedly attended at her home, looking for a relative who did not, nor had ever lived with her. On at least two occasions when officers attended her home, the relative was on remand at Armley Prison. Another significant case I have led has involved investigations into how a London Metropolitan Police Force list of suspected gangs came to be shared over social media – leading to innocent people being left in fear of attack.