Rapist police officer victims receive compensation

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VICTIMS of rapist police officer Pc Stephen Mitchell have started to receive compensation.

Northumbria Police has paid out £31,500 to some of the women. Mitchell was jailed for life for attacking 16 women and teenage girls, including one from Sunderland.

Three years ago, the 42-year-old was accused of preying on female drug addicts he arrested while working in Newcastle.

He told them he could get them off charges and even gave them drugs in return for having sex with him in his police car and police station interview rooms.

The women, aged 17 to 48, were forced to relive their ordeal during a five-week trial.

Mitchell, of Whitley Bay, was convicted of two rapes, three indecent assaults and six charges of misconduct in public office.

Many of the women made claims to the Government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority but were told they would not get any because they have criminal records.

A Freedom of Information Act request has revealed the force has been in negotiations with 10 women seeking compensation.

Police would not reveal how the £31,500 had been divided or if it was interim payments.

One said: “I personally have not received a penny as yet.

“I plan to take my case to court and I would urge other victims not to be fobbed off with a few pounds just to go away.

“My fear is that because some of were vulnerable and addicted to drugs they may be tempted by such an offer.”

Claire Phillipson, director of Wearside Women In Need, said: “I hope Northumbria Police recognize their responsibilities to these women.

“They deserve compensation because this was a terrible crime carried out by an officer who was well-paid to protect women who were already very vulnerable.”

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Stephen Mitchell was convicted of horrendous crimes and we unreservedly apologise to his victims.

“Each claim is dealt with individually and the length of time it takes to progress can be dependent on the information that is required to reach a settlement.

“In all claims that we have received, the claimants have instructed a solicitor to deal with the matter and we respond to them accordingly. We ensure settlements are thoroughly assessed and reached as soon as possible.”

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