Members of a police team who helped bring a brutal Ilkeston rapist to justice have been commended.
The team, led by Superintendent Gareth Meadows, spent six months tracking down the perpetrator of a sickening rape and attempted murder which shocked the town.
And officers and other members of the team have now picked up more than 20 commendations at a Derbyshire Constabulary awards event held last week.
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was attacked in Queen’s Avenue, Ilkeston, in November 2017 – sparking one of Derbyshire largest ever manhunts.
It involved dozens of people from across the county, region and partner agencies.
Dad-of-two Anthony Dealey was jailed for life in December last year and 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.
The 43-year-old, of Erewash Square, attacked the woman as she was walking along Queens Avenue.
She was approached from behind by Dealey.
He grabbed his victim and forced her to the floor before raping her.
He throttled the woman which left her unconscious and then left her for dead on the ground. Dealey was found guilty of attempted murder, rape, sexual assault and robbery.
After last week’s awards, Assistant Chief Constable Paul Gibson paid tribute to everyone who had worked on the case.
He said: “The police, the prosecutors, the forensic services and the courts, worked together on the process of supporting a victim, reassuring a community and providing DNA evidence to prove a man’s guilt.
“One of Derbyshire’s biggest ever manhunts followed this appalling attack – dozens and dozens of people from across the constabulary, the region and our partners worked alongside the investigation team – the house to house enquiries, the searches, the media appeals, the police reconstruction of events, the forensics, community reassurance and intelligence gathering.
“Anthony Dealey now has to face the consequences of his brutal and terrible actions that night – back in December he was jailed for life.”