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‘Fight for justice’ of victim who gave evidence against Met serial rapist Adam Provan

‘Fight for justice’ of victim who gave evidence against Met serial rapist Adam Provan

A woman who gave evidence against a rapist Metropolitan Police officer three times has spoken of her fight for justice as he was finally jailed.

Lauren Taylor was just 16 when then-police constable Adam Provan invited her on a cinema date in 2010, but instead raped her in woods and a children’s playground.

It took a year for Ms Taylor to tell anyone what had happened to her, and many more years before she went to police to report him.

She said she felt compelled to act after becoming a mother at the age of 22 and watching a television documentary about the late Jimmy Savile.

After an initial trial ended in a hung jury, Provan was convicted in 2018, only to win an appeal, meaning Ms Taylor had to relive her ordeal in court again.

In June Provan was found guilty of two counts of rape against Ms Taylor, as well as six rapes of another woman between 2003 and 2005.

All the offences were committed while he was a serving officer with the then Barking and Dagenham Police.

On Tuesday Provan, now 44, of Newmarket in Suffolk, was jailed for 16 years at Wood Green Crown Court.

Ms Taylor, now 29, waived her right to lifetime anonymity, to share her experiences in the hope of helping others.

She told the PA news agency: “For me it’s been quite an exceptional experience. I want anyone who needs to hear it, to hear it.

Lauren Taylor, then aged 16 (PA)
Lauren Taylor, then aged 16 (PA)

“I want them to see a friendly face, someone who’s been through it and come out the other side.

“I feel like he doesn’t define who I am. It doesn’t define who the Met are. I’ve fought really hard for my justice, for other women too, and I feel like that’s what needs to be seen.

“I would like to tell my story to help other victims that may or may not have come forward and just speak on behalf of others that have suffered.”

Ms Taylor said she agreed to a date with Provan, then 31, after he told her he was a 22-year-old police officer.

Instead of going to the cinema he drove to a country park, and had sex with her in woodland even though she repeatedly said no.

She said: “Basically he raped me. I remember holding on to the tree. I was kind of hugging the tree like emotional support, pretended I was anywhere else in the world but back there. I remember it can’t have been long, but it felt like a long time.”

Afterwards he acted “like nothing had just happened”, and drove to a McDonald’s and a children’s playground, where he forced himself on her again.

Ms Taylor said: “I remember in the far distance there was a crowd of people. I was just praying that maybe someone would see me, someone would see what was going on.”

Lauren Taylor, who has waived her right to anonymity, at New Scotland Yard (PA)
Lauren Taylor, who has waived her right to anonymity, at New Scotland Yard (PA)

Later she found out he was actually aged 31, and for years she assumed he had lied about being a police officer too.

She said: “I was told by police after they arrested him. I was really shocked, really disgusted to find out that he was working for the Metropolitan Police.”

On her decision to report him, she said: “I felt like maybe the only way I’m ever going to deal with it is by talking about it. Talking about it and doing something about it.”

I'm angry at what he's done to me. I'm angry about who he was. He was a police officer, and we go to them to be protected, and I wasn't protected

Lauren Taylor

Giving evidence in court was “very traumatic” and “like repeating a nightmare over and over again”.

But she said: “I just had to keep going. I had to tell the truth.”

She went on: “It was in 2022 when I was contacted by police to be told that he’d won an appeal. He was out.

“The police came to me and said ‘Would you do a retrial? This is to do with you. This is your choice. We’re not forcing you into anything’.

“I already knew what my answer was going to be. It was always going to be yes. I was always going to fight so hard for my justice.

“I think the more because of who he was, being a Metropolitan Police officer. He misused his job and treated people terribly.  I had to do everything I could to get him back in prison.”

She added: “I don’t feel like I’ve done anything amazing. I just feel like I’ve done what I needed to do for me.”

On Provan, she said: “I’m angry at what he’s done to me. I’m angry about who he was. He was a police officer, and we go to them to be protected, and I wasn’t protected.

“And I’m angry for the lack of remorse that he’s shown throughout this whole process.

“I’ve been to court three times. He’s still fully denied what he’s done and even after being in prison for a certain amount of years, he’s not had time to reflect and he’s not changed, he’s still who he is.

“The reason why I did the last retrial was because I wanted to make sure that he didn’t go out and harm anyone else.”

On her advice to others, she said: “Never be ashamed of what happened to you, because what happened to you is not your fault.

“When you’re ready, talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be a police officer, it can be a family member, it can be a friend, it can be a helpline.

“Consent is consent. And if you know in your heart that you did not consent, you feel uneasy about what happened, you go home, you feel like terrible. You need to talk to someone. Do it when you’re ready.

“It took me years to finally go to the police. And when I went to the police I was believed from the outset.”

She added: “You can’t do anything until you’re ready to face it, you might never be ready to face it. That’s OK too.

“For me, I couldn’t rest until I’d come forward and spoken about it.”