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Police operative sacked for hanging up on woman later raped by Forest Gate man

PUBLISHED: 18:42 17 August 2016 | UPDATED: 18:51 17 August 2016

The 999 call handler has been sacked after hanging up on a woman who was raped by a man living in Forest Gate

The 999 call handler has been sacked after hanging up on a woman who was raped by a man living in Forest Gate

PA/Press Association Images

A 999 call handler has been sacked after she hung up on a woman who was later raped.

Gail Daniels-Ekarte, who worked for Thames Valley Police, “failed to respond appropriately” when the caller – who was raped by a man living in Forest Gate – requested help.

A gross misconduct hearing on Wednesday last week dismissed Ms Daniel-Ekarte without notice following an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation.

The rape – which took place in Oxfordshire in December 2013 – came after the “vulnerable” woman called 999 to report she was in danger.

After five and a half minutes, her call was terminated by the Milton Keynes-based Ms Daniels-Ekarte and no police officers were deployed.

Later that day police were again called, this time to be informed that the woman had been raped.

Zilvinas Ruzgas – of Odessa Road, Forest Gate – was ultimately found guilty of the crime and sentenced to seven years in jail for one count of rape.

The 40-year-old was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hardcastle, head of operations for Thames Valley Police, said: “We have dismissed a member of staff as they failed to respond appropriately to what was a clear call for help from a member of the public.

“At Thames Valley Police we expect the highest of standards from our staff and officers. Sadly the individual’s actions in this case fell very far below the standard of what we expect.”

Ms Daniels-Ekarte has the right to appeal.

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