A Runcorn man has been sentenced for a string of non-recent rapes.
Derek Coles has today (Tuesday 8th December) been jailed for life – he must serve a minimum of 13 years and 95 days before he will be considered for release.
The 49-year-old was previously found guilty of 5 counts of rape, 1 count of indecent assault and 1 count of attempt buggery (relating to three victims) following a 7 day trial at Chester Crown Court.
Coles preyed on his victims, who were known to him, when they were teenagers.
The first victim was aged between 13-15-years-old. She suffered numerous sexual abuse over a 2-year period in the early 1980s – the majority took place at Coles’ home in Runcorn.
The pair did have consensual sex during that time but, on a number of occasions, the victim disclosed that she had been forced into it against her wishes. She described Coles as ‘controlling and demanding’ and said that he was often violent towards her.
The second victim was aged 15 at the time of the incident, which dates back to the early 1990s.
The victim met Coles (who she knew through a friend) during a night out and, whilst in a taxi together, Coles claimed that he needed to go home to pick something up. When they arrived at the address he invited the victim inside the property where he raped her.
She managed to escape and ran out of the house onto the road where she flagged down a passing car with a man and woman in it. She disclosed what had happened and the pair took her home and urged her to tell her parents. The following day she told a friend but was too ashamed to tell her parents.
The third victim was also aged 15 at the time of the incident, which dates back to the late 1990s.
She was staying at a friend’s house at the time and was on a night out when they were invited to a party at another house. During the night the victim went upstairs to the bathroom. As she walked out the defendant was on the landing and he approached her, pushed her into the bedroom and raped her.
The victim went back downstairs following the incident and left the address immediately as she was scared. Coles later threatened her not to tell anyone about what had happened.
Coles was arrested in 2014 after one of the victims came forward and reported what had happened to police. In May 2015 he was subsequently charged with the offences.
PC Stephanie Montague said: “Coles targeted his victims in their teenage years betraying their trust and preying on their vulnerability.
“These women have suffered greatly over the years. They have shown great bravery and courage in coming forward and talking about what happened to them. I would like to acknowledge their bravery and courage in supporting this prosecution.
“Coles has shown a blatant disregard for the three victims making them come to court and give evidence during trial and re-living what had happened to them. They have been deeply affected and have had to live with this for a long time. I hope that the guilty verdict will bring them some closure and allow them to move forward with their lives.”
She added: “We take all allegations of sexual offences extremely seriously − no matter how long ago they took place. Victims of non-recent sexual offences can have the confidence in coming forward − we want to reassure victims that we are committed to tackling this type of crime and ensuring those responsible are brought to justice.
“The force has a Dedicated Rape Unit that deals specifically with this type of crime − and has specialist officers who are able to provide support to victims and witnesses throughout an investigation. I would encourage anyone who has been a victim or witness of a sexual offence to come forward and report it.”
Anyone with any information can contact Cheshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, via 0800 555 111.