Developer is jailed for child abuse

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A developer has been jailed again for child abuse after he was exposed as a sex offender while planning a £45million rail link for Ripley.

Derby Crown Court heard how Desmond Shields-McKinley came to the area after breaching the terms of the Sex Offenders’ Register by changing his name and address without telling police.

He had been put on the register when given a 12-year prison sentence at Belfast Crown Court in 1997 after being found guilty of the abuse of a boy under 16, according to Derby Crown Court.

Now he has been jailed for four years after a jury at Derby found him guilty of seven offences against a 13-year-old Chesterfield boy. One included inciting him to engage in oral sex.

Shields-McKinley had to be extradited from Germany to stand trial at Derby Crown Court and has been in custody since July 2012.

The 41-year-old came to prominence in 2011 when he headed a company which talked about opening a railway line between Ripley and Derby.

But he was removed from the company after colleagues discovered he was a convicted sex offender.

The firm had met Network Rail, which owns some of the earmarked land, and attended a meeting at which many people spoke out against the scheme. Talks were also held with local councils.

Recorder Michael Elsom banned Shields-McKinley from being alone with any boy under 16 or from using the internet to try and contact a boy in that age group. He remains on the Sex Offenders’ Register.

The recorder told him: “I don’t disagree with the probation report that you represent a high risk to male children of sexual, physical and psychological harm.”

Shields-McKinley will be barred from seeking parole until he is two-thirds through the sentence. He will be on licence for four years after release.

Alastair Munt, mitigating, said Shields-McKinley was suffering from several ailments and feared he was going blind.

Mr Munt said: “He is a business person and has been employed, when at liberty, since the age of 16. He has handled business contracts which used from 20 to 200 men.”

He told the court that Shields-McKinley regarded himself as a “foreign national” who wanted to be deported to Eire where his mother lives.

Mr Munt added: “His mother in Ireland is in poor health and he is desperate to see her. His mother is in the twilight of her days and he would like to see her as soon as possible.”

After Friday’s court hearing, Ripley Town Council leader Steve Freeborn described the rail scheme had been “crazy, impractical, expensive and unwanted”.

He added: “The item was on the agenda of the town council and over 100 people turned up. That was absolutely unprecedented. People did not want it.”