Berkshire

Thames Valley Police cleared over Slough rape attack

The IPCC has cleared officers who were called to a house in Berkshire hours before a woman was raped by a man.

The police watchdog said the officers were called to reports of a domestic incident in Slough last November but left after correctly deciding that no offence had been committed.

Hours later the 53-year-old woman was found there with severe injuries and a man was discovered hit by a car.

The man has been committed to a secure psychiatric hospital.

The 23-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared by reason of insanity of raping and causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday.

'Expressed concerns'

The watchdog said the officers had been called to the house on 12 November after a 999 call was received where "a woman could be heard in distress".

Two hours after they left, police responding to the road traffic accident called at the house and found the woman with severe injuries.

The case was referred to the IPCC because of the earlier police contact with the victim.

Police did not breach policy or procedure and there was no evidence of any misconduct, the watchdog concluded.

An IPCC spokesman said officers who had attended the initial incident had "expressed concerns about the mental health of one of the occupants, but had no power to remove him from the address or to detain him under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act".

The IPCC said its investigation focused on the actions of the officers on arrival at the property, their actions subsequently, given their concerns for the man's mental health, and the support and guidance given to the woman.

It looked at any other options that may have been available to the officers and concluded that relevant local and national policies and guidelines were complied with.

IPCC Commissioner for the South East, Mike Franklin, described the case as "extremely upsetting".

He said: "I know that the officers who found the woman after the attack have been deeply affected by this case.

"We concluded that based on the information those officers had at the time they responded to the incident, there was nothing more they could have done."

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