A gay man has won compensation from the Met Police over failure to investigate homophobic abuse

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A gay man has won a lengthy legal battle against the Metropolitan Police over its failure to investigate his claims that he was subjected to homophobic abuse by a neighbour.

David Cary alleged that the force discriminated against him on the grounds of his sexuality because it did not properly examine his complaint in 2007, the BBC said.

The case was due to be heard in the Court of Appeal but Scotland Yard agreed to compensate Mr Cary and apologised to him ahead of a decision on Monday, admitting it could have handled his complaint "more professionally and sympathetically".

Scotland Yard
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Mr Cary, 54, accused the Met of having "tolerated" homophobic abuse because of its failure to investigate the allegations, the BBC reported.

He said: "I felt belittled and treated like a second-class citizen. I felt they prolonged the case in the hope of wearing me down. Without the best legal representation and campaigning support that I had, they might have managed it."

Mr Cary complained to police in February 2007 that a neighbour had called him a "poof" and a "queer" as he cycled home, but he said officers decided to take no further action after investigating.

Met police
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

He complained about their report, which the Met dismissed, and after two appeals to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) were rejected he began legal action against both organisations in 2010. The IPCC settled the case in 2012, but Scotland Yard only apologised on Monday.

The Met said: "This case has taken a number of years to reach a resolution, due to a number of applications and appeals lodged by Mr Cary.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is pleased that this case was finally able to reach a settlement and we have apologised to Mr Cary. The way the organisation deals with homophobic crime and our internal practices and policies have changed dramatically since 2013."

Lord Paddick
Lord Paddick (Ian West/PA)

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Lord Paddick said: "The police are not learning lessons and this tragic case is yet another example. Coming straight off the back of the Orgreave inquiry rejection, surely this shows how we cannot just say these things happened too long ago.

"The Met has said that they have learnt lessons but how can they say that when it has taken them nine years to admit what happened and to finally take responsibility? The Met have a duty of care and, frankly, they failed."