Outer Temple Chambers

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Police ordered to pay Human Rights Act damages for failure to conduct an adequate investigation into allegations of rape

By Katarina Sydow

In a decision handed down on 23 July 2014, the High Court has found that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) must pay damages of £22,250 and £19,000 respectively to claimants DSD and NBV for failing to conduct an effective investigation into the rapes and other sexual offences committed by John Worboys, the so-called ‘Black Cab Rapist’, between 2002 and 2008 (DSD & NBV v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 2493 [QB]).

In February 2014, the High Court held the MPS liable to the claimants under the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. Both DSD and NBV were raped by Worboys, DSD in 2003 and NBV in 2007, as were approximately 100 other women. The failure by the MPS to carry out an adequate investigation into the complaints made by the claimants and other women amounted to a breach of the state’s positive duty under article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to investigate allegations of conduct amounting to torture and/or inhuman or degrading treatment.

In the instant decision, Green J helpfully restated the law on damages under the HRA 1998 in relation to (1) whether an award should be made and (2) the quantum of such an award, and considered the effect of other relief granted ‘in relation to the act in question’ under section 8(3)(a) HRA 1998…

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