Friday, December 14, 2012

London Police pay £15,000 settlement to teenage rape victim for 'shocking' failings which saw alleged attacker acquitted

And they put more effort into fighting the payout than they did in prosecuting the rape -- real charmers. Clearly no penitence at all, despite what they say

The Metropolitan Police are to pay a £15,000 settlement to a teenage rape victim for 'shocking' failings which saw the alleged attacker acquitted.

The alleged attacker of the 15-year-old girl was acquitted when the police lost evidence in what a trial judge branded a 'disgrace'.

Scotland Yard today admitted failings in the 2005 rape investigation as it agreed an out of court settlement with the young victim and accepted that officers were told to put car crime first.

An investigation led to four officers being reprimanded and a shake-up of sexual offence teams after it emerged officers had been told to make car crime a higher priority.

The girl's family took legal action, claiming her human rights had been breached, but have now agreed to settle for a reported £15,000.

Her mother complained to the BBC that the force fought 'really dirty' against the claim. She said: 'Had they put the same amount of effort into investigating my daughter's rape, I reckon he would probably have been found guilty.'

'To be honest the way they fought it was really dirty and I just think they should have just held their hands up and said, "we're sorry".'

Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, who heads the Met's Sapphire sexual offences unit, conceded that rape was not taken sufficiently seriously at the time. But he insisted that the subsequent shake-up had significantly improved its response.

The case had been handled by an 'inexperienced, untrained, poorly-supervised, under-resourced' team, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He said: 'I have reviewed the investigation again recently and it is shocking. The trial judge said it was a disgrace and I don't disagree.

'I want to reassure you that the Met now take rape as an extremely serious offence, it is a priority for us,' he said - accepting that officers were previously told to put car crime first.

'Now dedicated staff, dedicated officers, dedicated lawyers - we work in partnership with all out partners across the criminal justice process to make sure that all victims receive justice.

'This case was in 2005 - and that is seven, eight years ago. I am confident that those sort of mistakes that happened then will not happen now.'

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: 'In November 2010 the MPS received a claim which stated that the MPS had been in breach of its positive duty under article three by not carrying out an effective rape investigation.

'There are points of law and processes that are gone through with any legal claim received by the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service).

'We are aware of the victim's comments of distress at the legal proceedings, and that some legal arguments may have appeared insensitive to the victim, but that is not the intention of the MPS.

'Following the legal arguments there were discussions with the victim's solicitor with regard to settlement and we came to a mutual agreement on an amount.'

A spokesman declined to discuss the size of the settlement.

Original report here

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