Greater Manchester Police pays £8,000 damages to rape complainant

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Greater Manchester Police pays £8,000 damages to rape complainant
Young woman with hands over her face, sitting on a bedImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
The rape complainant says police did not take her allegations seriously

A woman who said "dismissive" police told her "nothing would come" out of reporting being raped after her drink was spiked has received £8,000 damages.

She said her treatment by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was "appalling" when she reported the incident after a night out in Wigan in July 2019.

Officers did not take a statement or arrange forensic tests, she said.

GMP said a review of its handling of the case was on hold until the conclusion of a criminal investigation.

On Thursday a report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary said GMP, which is under special measures, was

'So scared'

The woman, who is not being named to protect her anonymity, told officers she feared she had been raped after waking up undressed and "feeling sore" in a strange house at 05:00 BST.

She said she feared her drink had been spiked when she was out with friends the previous evening, and she was attacked by the man whose house she woke up in.

"It was such a strange feeling the next morning, almost an out-of-body experience. I knew something wasn't right," she told . "I was so scared."

Greater Manchester Police headquartersImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
GMP says an internal probe into its handling of the case is on hold pending a criminal investigation

The woman, 29 at the time of the incident, said she contacted police when she got home and two officers attended.

One of them was "very dismissive" and treated her like she was "just being silly", she said.

The woman said the officers left after about 20 minutes without taking a statement or arranging for any forensic tests to be carried out.

She said: "[A female] officer took me into a room on my own and advised me that if it went to court 'nothing would come of it'.

"Then we went back in the other room and in front of everyone she said to my husband 'I recommend you go to him [the alleged attacker] and see if you can set the record straight'."

'Being ignored'

The woman rang police again hours later and insisted the incident be properly investigated.

She said she was eventually examined following an 11-hour wait.

She said "it makes me feel sick" to think other victims may also be "being ignored".

Her lawyer said the force had agreed an out-of-court settlement with no admission to her client's claims.

Solicitor Nicola Bailey Gibbs said: "It was a shocking error of judgment by trained police officers who completely failed in their duty of care."

A GMP spokeswoman said a 43-year-old man had been arrested in relation to the case.

"The Professional Standards Branch is conducting a thorough investigation into this case but this is currently on hold until the criminal investigation has been concluded and so it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time," she said.

She added that victim care was "at the heart of everything we do" and "whenever we fall short of expectations it is important it is reported so we can take appropriate action wherever necessary."

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