Derbyshire police and the courts put many sex offenders behind bars in the last 12 months

Court hearing
Court hearing

Derbyshire police and the courts successfully brought some of the most appalling sex offenders in the county to justice in the last 12 months.

Below are some of the worst cases which were covered by the Derbyshire Times and our sister papers which resulted in lengthy custodial sentences for the offenders.

PHILIP CUNNINGHAM - JAILED FOR 13 YEARS IN MARCH 2018

DNA left on a bottle allowed detectives to snare rapist Philip Cunningham 13 years after he first attacked a woman.

Philip Cunningham raped a woman in her 40s in May 2004 when he dragged her into some bushes but he was not caught.

DNA was taken from the victim’s skin but it didn’t match anyone on the database and the sample was kept.

But in September last year, Cunningham assaulted a 16-year-old student near the Quad cinema in Derby in broad daylight as she walked to meet her mum after college.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “When she reported it to us, officers searched the area where the attack happened and found a discarded green bottle, which the victim remembered the attacker drinking from.”

The bottle was sent for analysis and DNA on the bottle matched that from the 2004 Darley Park case.

CCTV from Derby city centre captured Cunningham in the area at the time of the September crime and he was arrested.

Cunningham, 48, of Matlock Road, Chaddesden, pleaded guilty to one count of rape and another of sexual assault and was sentenced at Derby Crown Court in March to 13 years in prison.

Recorder Jason Macadam also handed Cunningham a sexual harm prevention order.

CALLUM HAMSHAW - JAILED FOR FIVE YEARS IN JULY 2018

Rapist Callum Hamshaw who bound-up a woman before forcing himself upon her in a bath was jailed for five years.

Derby Crown Court heard how Hamshaw, 26, of Portland Avenue, Creswell, tied the victim’s hands together, forced her into the bath and had sex with her against her will.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the rape had changed her life forever and she has had to move away from the area where it took place.

Judge Nirmal Shant QC, who jailed Hamshaw for five years, told him: “You tied her hands up and you put her in the bath in order to have sexual intercourse with her against her will.”

A trial heard the attack happened on May 29, 2017.

Hamshaw denied the offence but a trial jury found him guilty of one count of rape.

Judge Shant QC also placed Hamshaw on the Sex Offenders Register for an indefinite period.

CURTIS MYERS - JAILED FOR SIX YEARS IN AUGUST 2018

Rapist Curtis Myers who carried out a sex attack on a teenage girl while he was armed with a knife was locked-up for six years.

Derby Crown Court heard how Myers, 21, of Tapton View Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, forced himself on the victim and snatched her phone from her so she could not tell anyone about the attack.

Myers also followed his victim to school the following day, according to the court, and sent her texts to ensure she did not tell anyone but she told family and police were alerted.

Judge Shaun Smith QC sentenced Myers to six years of custody after he pleaded guilty to rape and stalking.

He told him: “You carried a knife in your hand. There is no suggestion you used the knife in order to have sex with her or pointed it at her.”

Prosecuting barrister Sarah Allen said the rape took place at a house in Derbyshire on May 15, 2018.

She added that the day after the rape Myers followed the girl to school and then sent up to 80 text messages.

CHRISTOPHER METCALFE - JAILED FOR TWO-YEARS AND NINE MONTHS IN SEPTEMBER 2018

Former foster carer and ex-teacher Christopher Metcalfe was jailed after he sexually assaulted two girls.

Derby Crown Court heard in October how Metcalfe, formerly of Cross Lane, Blidworth, had been accused of putting his hand up the skirt of one complainant and was also accused of subjecting her to cruelty when she was at a farm in South Normanton.

He was also accused of touching the private parts of another youngster and allegedly kissing her at Bolsover swimming baths when she was a pupil at a Derbyshire primary school.

Metcalfe, who was aged 71 when he was sentenced, had denied the charges which related to a period when he was aged in his 30s.

But he was found guilty of two charges of indecent assault after a trial and was sentenced to two-years and nine-months in prison.

ANTHONY DEALEY - JAILED FOR A MINIMUM OF 13-AND-A-HALF YEARS IN DECEMBER 2018

Sex attacker Anthony Dealey was jailed for life after he raped and tried to kill a woman during a brutal attack.

Dealey was told at Derby Crown Court he must serve a minimum jail term of 13-and-a-half-years after a jury found him guilty of four charges relating to the sickening attack in November, 2017.

The 43-year-old, of Erewash Square, Ilkeston, grabbed the woman as she was walking along Queens Avenue in the early hours of Sunday, November 26, 2017, and he forced his victim to the ground before raping her, according to the court.

He throttled the woman, according to the court, which left her unconscious and then he left her for dead on the ground.

Dealey was found guilty of attempted murder, rape, sexual assault and robbery following a trial hearing at Derby Crown Court.

DAVID LEA - JAILED FOR SEVEN YEARS IN JANUARY 2019

Sex offender David Lea, 77, was jailed for seven years for sexually assaulting three girls.

Lea, of Wheatley Gardens, Two Dales, near Matlock, was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and two counts of taking indecent images of children.

The offences related to the sexual assault of three girls in 2017.

Lea was arrested in 2017 and charged in 2018, before standing trial in January.

He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment at Derby Crown Court on Friday, January 11.

NEAL HOPKINS - JAILED FOR EIGHT YEARS IN JANUARY 2019

Neal Hopkins was jailed after admitting a series of sexual offences involving children across six counties including Derbyshire.

Hopkins pleaded guilty to 15 counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity, three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one count of paying for the sexual services of a child and one count of causing a child to watch an image of sexual activity.

He also admitted five counts of taking an indecent photograph of a child and one count of distributing an indecent photograph of a child.

The charges relate to several incidents that took place in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, North Wales, South Wales, Worcestershire and Yorkshire between 2013 and 2018 involving boys aged 13 to 15.

Hopkins, 46, of Stone Road, Trent Vale, Stoke-on-Trent, was jailed for eight years with an extended license for four years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.