Two victims of convicted rapist John Worboys won their claim against the Metropolitan Police in the UK’s highest court today, a landmark ruling that has implications for how police investigate other serious cases.
The women - who were raped by the former black cab driver in 2003 and 2007 - said that their treatment by officers, who failed to believe their reports, caused them mental harm, and that police breached their human rights by failing to properly investigate Worboys, The Daily Telegraph reports.
The UK Supreme Court “unanimously” ruled in the women’s favour today in what the BBC describes as a “landmark” judgment. The verdict means police may now face human rights actions whenever they fail to properly investigate serious cases, says the news site.
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The claim centred around Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Police lawyers had argued that the force was not liable for the conduct of individual investigations, Sky News says.
The two women were initially award compensation totalling £41,250 by the High Court. The Met police failed to overturn the awards in successive appeals.
Following today’s ruling, the Metropolitan Police told the BBC that the force “fully accepts the decision” and that it would undoubtedly have “implications for how we resource and prioritise our investigations”.
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