JAILED: Former West Mercia Police officer Darbyshire sentenced to 14 years in prison - The Evesham Observer

JAILED: Former West Mercia Police officer Darbyshire sentenced to 14 years in prison

Evesham Editorial 18th May, 2023   0

A WEST Mercia Police officer has been jailed after he was found guilty of rape and sexual assaults.

Michael Darbyshire, 57, had been charged with one count of rape and five counts of sexual assault.

A jury at Worcester Crown Court found him guilty of all charges on Friday (May 12) following a two week retrial. He has been sentenced to 14 years.

A previous trial in March 2021 resulted in a hung jury.

The offences, which took place between November 2018 and August 2019, were reported to police in November 2019. He was subsequently arrested at the end of November 2019 and in April 2020 he was charged.

He was suspended from duty on December 2, 2019.

Dep Chief Con Alex Murray said:

“The crimes committed by Michael Darbyshire were abhorrent.

“The victims in this case showed great bravery and courage in coming forward and supporting our investigation. They have been incredibly patient through the process, and I would like to thank them for helping ensure a dangerous individual will now face the consequences of his crimes.

“I want the public to have confidence in our actions to proactively root out those who have no place in policing. We will continue to make sure those in our force who commit criminal offences are put before the courts and face disciplinary procedures to ensure they are banned from working in policing ever again.

“I would like to reassure victims of sexual offences that when they make a complaint to us, we will investigate it thoroughly and have a team of specially trained officers who will support them throughout the process. Regardless of who the perpetrator is we will investigate without fear or favour.”

An accelerated misconduct process will now take place.

If you’ve been affected by sexual assault, then local support is available from the Victim Advice Line.

The Victim Advice Line is a free and confidential service offering advice, practical help and support to people affected by crime, regardless of how long ago it happened and whether it has been reported to the police.

Support is available by telephone on 0800 952 3000, via email at [email protected] and through live chat on victimadviceline.org.uk.

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