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Metropolitan Police to Compensate Rape Victims

Metropolitan Police to Compensate Rape Victims

Two victims of convicted London black taxi rapist John Worboys have won a bid for compensation over the “flawed” police investigation into the attacks. Mr Justice Green found that failure to properly investigate the rape and serious assault allegations breached the victims’ human rights. The High Court ruling could pave the way for a further 100 women to receive pay-outs. Mr Justice Green ruled that damages would now be assessed. The judge also said “systemic” failures in the investigation meant Worboys – jailed for life in 2009 for attacks from 2002-08 – was not stopped earlier. If you have any concerns where you feel you were not shown a duty of care and/or believe that you may be entitled to compensation for suffering or injury to yourself in any circumstances, please speak to a personal injury solicitor.

Following the jailing of Worboys the Metropolitan Police called for any other women who had been attacked by the taxi-driver to come forward. His modus operandi was to pick up women as fares late at night in central London and told them he was celebrating coming into a large amount of money, usually by winning the lottery or at a casino. He would show them a carrier bag full of money to back up his story, ply them with champagne that had been drugged with sedatives, and then sexually assault or rape them. The women would often have little memory of what had happened to them.

Delivering his judgment at the High Court in London, Mr Justice Green said Worboys – who was convicted of 19 offences, including one rape and 12 drugging charges – had carried out more than 100 rapes and sexual assaults. The women, known only as DSD and NBV for legal reasons, brought their claims under article three of the Human Rights Act – the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment. DSD said she suffered a depressive disorder as a result of her treatment by officers during the 2003 investigation, while NBV claimed that she suffered serious distress, anxiety, guilt and an exacerbation of a post-traumatic disorder and depression as a result of her treatment in 2007. DSD said the police were “good” to start with, but soon officers made it clear they did not believe her.

Police have a duty of care

The Metropolitan Police had questioned whether they have a duty at all towards victims under law and the judgment rules that they do have such a duty. Mr Justice Green identified five main areas of failure by the police – training, supervision, use of intelligence, systems to ensure victim confidence and allocation of adequate resources.

The Metropolitan Police responded on Friday following the judgment, issuing the following statement: “Our defence of these claims should not be taken as a reflection of any doubt upon the veracity of the claimants’ accounts as to their treatment by Worboys; or any lack of understanding about the effects of rape on victims. Their accounts formed part of the criminal process and they each, with considerable courage, assisted the police in bringing Worboys to justice. The claims were not defended on the basis of factual differences between the parties; but rather based on the appropriate interpretation of European human rights law. The case has raised important arguments regarding the boundaries of police responsibility and liability and we believed that it was important for these principles to be tested before the courts.”

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