Harriet Johnson secures “life-changing” settlement for rape victim failed by police

Harriet Johnson, instructed by Vicky Richardson at Hudgells, represented a woman in her claim against the police for failure to properly investigate her allegation of rape.  The woman was awarded damages after a flawed investigation meant that a successful prosecution could not be brought against her rapist.

The woman reported her rape to Greater Manchester Police in 2011, but was disbelieved by the officers investigating the crime, who described her account as “b******s” and sent mocking emails to each other about what had happened to her.  During the investigation itself, crucial evidence that supported the woman’s account was misread and disregarded, and other vital evidence was lost. 

The woman brought a claim under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights after she was left with no recourse to the criminal justice system because of the way in which the investigation into her rape had been carried out.  The woman later said “I never felt supported just ignored, and I had to try and get on with life”.  She added that when the truth came out about the investigation “it had been so hard to feel so dismissed and judged”.

Greater Manchester Police agreed not to defend the woman’s case, and compensation was duly awarded to her.  Greater Manchester Police apologised “wholeheartedly” to the woman, adding “the level of service she received fell well below the very least she would have expected”.

The woman described the five-figure settlement she received as “life-changing”.

Press coverage can be found here: The Independent, Manchester Evening News, Daily Mail.

To seek Harriet’s advice in similar cases, contact her clerks here.