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Judge raps cop after rape case blunder

PUBLISHED: 12:17 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:15 25 August 2010

A POLICE officer is being investigated after a judge criticised his handling of a rape case just months after the same force were slammed for letting a serial attacker free to assault more women. The male officer, based at Eltham police station, in Well

A POLICE officer is being investigated after a judge criticised his handling of a rape case just months after the same force were slammed for letting a serial attacker free to assault more women.

The male officer, based at Eltham police station, in Well Hall Road, who has not been suspended, is being investigated by the police's Department of Professional Standards (DPS).

This comes after allegations that he interrupted a rape, and then left the 32-year-old woman with the attacker to continue the ordeal.

It is claimed the officer did not ask to speak to the woman and believed the rapist when he said that they were having consensual sex.

Her attacker Vitas Jasionis, 54, of Avondale Square, Bermondsey, was convicted on one count of rape at Woolwich Crown Court, last Friday. He was remanded in custody and is due to sentenced on November 20. In court Judge Michael Carroll singled out the cop and blasted him for believing the man's account.

Spokesperson for campaign group Women Against Rape, Lisa Longstaff, said this was "more of the same" from Greenwich police.

She said: "The police just take the word of the man and don't speak to the woman. It is like going to a report of a child abuse and not interviewing the child. If the man says it is consensual then the police just say okay."

This comes just months after the same police force were criticised for their handling of another rape investigation.

Greenwich borough commander Chris Jarrett stepped down after it was revealed that black cab driver John Worboys was released to attack 34 other women following his initial arrest by Plumstead police.

The IPCC are still investigating how officers came to the decision to release Worboys after complaints from a 19-year-old student from Eltham. Their investigation is due to finish at the end of the year.

Detectives at Plumstead police station closed her case in October 2007 claiming there was insufficient evidence to take it to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

It was not until February last year (08) that he was arrested and charged with scores of serious sexual assaults, including that of the Eltham student.

He was found guilty on 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting 12 women, in one case raping his victim.

Ms Longstaff added: "This is what happened with Worboys.

"It goes on from the beginning of an investigation right through to the courts. The investigation is slanted by what the man has said and the woman is treated as if she is lying.

"We see this many times. It is such a common experience.

"The police find themselves persuaded by what the man has said to them on the first interview. They are biased. It is just sexism and it comes from both men and women.

"Greenwich police have to sort themselves out.

"It is not impossible to improve in any area. If they are not protecting the public they should not be doing the job because it just means the public are in danger."

Police only arrested Jasionis six months after the attack which took place on Sunday, November 2 last year (08).

On April 9 this year, he was arrested at Plumstead police station, charged with rape and remanded in custody.

50-year-old Antanas Jasionis was also charged with rape on July 21 this year and remanded in custody.

He was acquitted but remanded in custody on another matter.

The case has not been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) but could be once the DPS have finished their investigation.

A spokesperson for Greenwich police refused to comment.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk


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