Brave victims praised after sex abuser is jailed

Court round-up
Court round-up

Police have praised the bravery of sexual abuse victims who gave evidence to help bring a man to justice.

Derek Walker was jailed for seven years at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty of assaulting a girl under 13 by penetration, and five counts of indecent assault.

Some of the abuse dated back to the 1980s.

Because the 61-year-old of Micklethwaite Road, Hall Green, denied the charges, it meant victims had to give evidence at the trial, which lasted more than a week.

But Det Insp Vanessa Rolfe, of Wakefield District Police, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise Walker’s victims who not only had the bravery to come forward but also the confidence in the police that what they said to officers would be listened to.

“Walker targeted young and innocent victims who were unable to defend themselves.

“He subjected them to terrible ordeals and then refused to admit his guilt, putting them through the ordeal of a court trial.

“He is now rightly serving a prison sentence for what he has done.”

Det Insp Rolfe also praised one victim who gave evidence in the courtroom during the trial, rather than via videolink.

She said: “Hopefully, by coming forward, she will encourage others who have suffered similar crimes to tell police what happened.

“Some of Walker’s offending went back to the last century but despite this we investigated his crimes and took action.

“I would like to make a promise to all victims of sexual offences, no matter how long the passage of time, that if you come forward and tell police what happened you will be listened to.”