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Damages sought for Pc rape victims

Lawyers are fighting to win compensation for the victims of rapist Pc Stephen Mitchell.

Serious injury specialists have launched civil claims for damages against Northumbria Police after the rogue officer's conviction this week.

The force said each case would be considered carefully and that Mitchell, of Glasgow, must bear responsibility for his crimes.

Mitchell, 42, was found guilty of two charges of rape, three indecent assaults involving vulnerable women and six counts of misconduct in a public office following a six-week trial at Newcastle's High Court.

The pervert faces life in jail after targeting vulnerable women he arrested while on duty at Newcastle's Pilgrim Street police station.

Serious injury specialist Lindsey Houghton, from the North East office of Irwin Mitchell, has now commenced civil claims for damages on behalf of his victims, who are upholding their right to anonymity.

She said: "The civil cases are at an early stage but we are making claims for damages for sexual assault, false imprisonment and breach of human rights. Mitchell was in a position of trust and authority and he abused that position, taking advantage of vulnerable young women in the most horrific way imaginable."

Although there are strict time limits for bringing claims of this type, Ms Houghton said it was possible in some cases - such as those involving historic abuse - to ask for special leave to bring a claim out of time.

Mitchell's actions had done "horrendous damage" to Northumbria Police's reputation, police chiefs said. The force apologised to his victims and branded the sex offender an "evil, manipulative liar".

A Northumbria Police spokesman said each compensation case would be "dealt with in the normal way and carefully considered on its merits".

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