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Worboys victims win compensation claim

21 Feb 2018

 

 

In a landmark judgement, two victims of serial sex attacker have won their claim for compensation.

The two victims, known only as DSD and NVB, reported their attacks in 2003 and 2007 respectively.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Metropolitan Police had failed in their duty to carry out a proper investigation into Worboys'.

The case was argued under article 3 of the European convention on human rights act, which provides that no one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The judgement itself, could set a significant precedent in relation to how police investigate future cases and what their liability is.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the Metropolitan Police's appeal, with Lord Kerr giving the main judgment.

The main area of the dispute was the nature of the positive obligation imposed by article 3 of the European court of human rights act. The judges, headed by Lord Kerr, examined whether that obligation pertained to systemic failures, or whether it also included operational failures.

Lord Kerr concluded that there was an operational duty to conduct a proper inquiry into behaviour amounting to a breach of article 3.

He added in his summary that in order to be an effective deterrent, laws which prohibit conduct constituting a breach of article 3 must be rigorously enforced and complaints of such conduct must be properly investigated.

Lord Kerr also stated that minor errors or omissions should not give rise to a violation of article 3 of the European court of human rights act, only conspicuous or substantial errors in investigation would qualify.

The two victims, were initially awarded £41,250 by the high court. The Metropolitan Police, despite successive appeals failed to overturn the compensation award.

There has also been a seperate challenge brought by the two victims, challenging the parole board against their decision to release Worboys. 

 

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