Sacked Met officer admits deliberately bungling rape cases

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The Independent Online

Twelve women who were the victims of rape or sexual assault will never see justice carried out due to the actions of a police officer who worked for Scotland Yard's specialist sex crimes unit, it can be reported today.

Ryan Coleman-Farrow, who was sacked from the force last year, yesterday admitted failing to investigate attacks on the women by faking records, falsifying witness statements and lying about sending exhibits for forensic analysis.

He admitted 13 counts of misconduct in public office over actions which resulted in inquiries against 11 alleged attackers failing to come to a conclusion or result in a successful prosecution. Prosecutors said there was no prospect of any of them being solved.

The inquiry into the activities of Coleman-Farrow is just one of four inquiries by the police watchdog into the activities of the Sapphire sex crime unit following allegations of wrongdoing by officers dealing with some of the most vulnerable victims of crime.

Coleman-Farrow, 30, was first put under investigation in 2010 but the case was passed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission for more detailed examination after a sex worker who had accused him of failing to properly investigate her complaints about a stalker committed suicide alongside another woman. Jaime Perlman left a note complaining about the conduct of DC Coleman-Farrow, who was cleared of wrongdoing in that case at an inquest.

The Coleman-Farrow case is the latest blow to the credibility of the Sapphire unit, which employs more than 500 officers and deals with more than 5,000 allegations every year. The unit was overhauled in 2009 after the conviction of one of Britain's most prolific sex attackers, the black-cab driver John Worboys, who was found to have continued attacking women after officers did not believe some victims' claims.

Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday that Coleman-Farrow wrongly informed women that prosecutors had decided not to go ahead with their cases. He had in fact made up meetings with the Crown Prosecution Service and falsely claimed to have interviewed rape suspects. It is understood that he had cancer at the time he committed some of the offences.

His crimes, related to inquiries into 10 rapes and three sex assaults, stretched from 2007 to 2010, including a period of time after the reorganisation of the unit. One of the women has since died.

Deborah Glass, the deputy chairwoman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said: "Our investigation did not reveal supervisory failings... Mr Coleman-Farrow appears to have been a rogue officer who set out to deceive."

However groups working on behalf of raped women said the case highlighted the concerns of not coming forward to report such crimes.

'Bus fare' rapist jailed indefinitely

A teenager who raped a young woman who had been thrown off her last bus home for being 20p short of the fare has been handed an indeterminate sentence.

Joseph Moran, 19, was branded a "pathological liar" at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday. Judge James Sampson said Moran's defence – that he stumbled across the victim and helped her – was reprehensible. Moran, of Sneinton, Nottingham, picked at his fingers and stared blankly as the sentence was passed. The judge told him: "It is obvious that you are a pathological liar and a man without an ounce of remorse or shame."

Moran was ordered to serve a minimum term of six-and-a-half years.

The court heard his victim was left stranded at 3am because the bus driver refused to wait a few moments for her to use a nearby cash machine. While she begged to be allowed on, dozens of other passengers boarded, but none offered to lend her the 20p. She was attacked after she began walking towards home.

Lucy Bogustawski