§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the reasons given by Mr. Justice Burgess for awarding exemplary damages to Patricia Austin of Belfast in May. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
A civil bill was issued on behalf of Patricia Austin in respect of a claim against the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, for assault and battery. The case came on for hearing, at Belfast County Court, on 30 April 2002 before His Honour Judge Burgess. Judgment was reserved.
On 14 May 2002 a written judgment was delivered in open court. The judgment included the following statement: "It is also a case where exemplary damages are appropriate, absorbing the role of aggravated damages".
The plaintiff was awarded a Decree for £8,500.00.
Nether party to the proceedings has lodged an appeal against the order of the court.
The reasons for the Judge's decision are set out in that judgment. It would be in appropriate for me to comment further on the Judge's decision.