Shropshire Star

'Dangerous and abhorrent' officer jailed for rape now banned from policing

A "dangerous" and "abhorrent" West Mercia Police officer who was jailed earlier this year for rape has now been sacked and banned from policing.

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Michael Darbyshire, who was jailed earlier this year, has now been banned from policing. Photo: PA.

Michael Darbyshire, 57, was found guilty of one count of rape and five counts of sexual assault following a retrial, after a previous trial in 2021 resulted in a hung jury.

The former soldier was subsequently jailed for 14 years at Worcester Crown Court in May.

At the point of his conviction, Darbyshire's pay was suspended by West Mercia Police, having been paid by the force since his arrest and suspension back in 2020.

On Tuesday, an accelerated misconduct hearing heard his conviction led to serious breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour in relation to discreditable conduct and authority, respect and courtesy.

He was sacked from the force with immediate effect and will be added to the College of Policing Barred List – preventing him from ever working in policing again.

Michael Darbyshire, who was jailed earlier this year, has now been sacked and banned from policing. Photo: PA.

Chief Constable Pippa Mills said: “Darbyshire is a dangerous individual who committed abhorrent crimes for which he is serving a considerable prison sentence.

“It is vitally important our local communities have confidence we will root out those who have no place in policing and today’s hearing is another example that even if someone is in prison and clearly unfit for the police service, we will ensure they never work in UK policing ever again.”

“I would like to commend the bravery of his victims throughout the lengthy criminal justice process that bought him to justice and the subsequent misconduct process.”

Following the outcome, one his victims, who has a legal right to anonymity, said: "I know that most police officers choose to protect and serve the public. I absolutely commend their bravery, courage, hard work, determination in a very often thankless job.

"What would we do without our wonderful police? One person’s actions must not tar all police forces with the same brush, because that is so wrong.

"I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the police that were wonderful to me and so supportive. Inspector Donna Hutcherson, and Neil McMillan from the police Professional Standards Department."

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