Avon and Somerset Police payout after losing rape case evidence
- 26 March 2014
- From the section Somerset
The victim of an alleged rape whose evidence was lost by Avon and Somerset Police has received a £7,500 payout.
Ms D, who has not been named for legal reasons, gave two video statements at Clevedon police station in 2011 about alleged abuse by an ex-boyfriend.
But days before the trial she was told it could not proceed because police had lost vital video evidence.
Ms D was awarded compensation from the police after they accepted they had breached her human rights.
'Relive everything again'
She said she found the "strength to go to the police" at the end of 2011, despite finding the prospect "terrifying".
But in the summer of 2012, she was told her original video evidence had been lost and she would have to provide it again.
"I was prepared to relive everything again if it meant gaining justice," she said.
"So I did it and my ex-boyfriend was charged a short time later."
But days before the trial, the Crown Prosecution Service told her a prosecution could not be pursued due to discrepancies between notes taken at her lost first video interview and her second.
"It has been an emotional nightmare," she said. "I feel like I will never be able to fully move forward with my life as I have been robbed of the opportunity to see justice done."
Avon and Somerset Police said it had been unable to establish how the evidence was lost but a "comprehensive review" had been carried out on the "management of video interviews".
Assistant Chief Constable Kay Wozniak said: "We deeply regret the additional trauma she suffered as a result of our failure to secure the first evidence she gave.
"It's really important that victims are reassured. We have learned from this case and they can have every confidence in us."