Friday, 22 February, 2019

John Worboys ruling enforces the human rights of crime victims

The black cab used by rapist John Worboys The black cab used by rapist John Worboys
Melinda Barton | 22 February, 2018, 04:12

Two victims of John Worboys have won their claim for compensation from the Metropolitan police after the Supreme Court ruled that the force had failed to carry out an effective investigation into the serial sex attacker.

The two victims brought claims against the Met Police under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act, which sets out the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.

The vindicated victim said in a message to police: "If you'd done your job properly there would not have been 105 victims there would have been one".

Earlier this month, DSD and NBV welcomed a ruling which gave them and London Mayor Sadiq Khan the go-ahead to challenge what they describe as the Parole Board's "irrational" decision to release Worboys.

Giving the court's ruling on Wednesday, Lord Kerr said: "By a majority, we have held that failures in the investigation of the crimes, provided they are sufficiently serious, will give rise to liability on the part of the police".

This ruling could open the way for other Worboys victims to bring claims for compensation against the police.

The Yard said it accepted the judgment and unreservedly apologised to the victims, who had been awarded compensation totalling almost £50,000. "We will now consider the full implications of the judgement and what it could mean for investigations in the future".

Two of his victims, named as DSD and NBV, took a case against police over failings in their cases.

The number of claims will depend on the view that judges take of what constitutes a serious crime and the nature of claimed mistakes by investigators.

Deputy commissioner Craig Mackey said resources may have to be moved from other areas such as fraud to deal with the fallout from the decision. A stampede to the courts by victims of unpleasant but non-violent offences is unlikely.

"The. appeal to the Supreme Court was not based on factual differences between us and the victims, but on the appropriate interpretation of European human rights law. I do not believe that this is a serious possibility".