Detective’s top award for paedophile case
06:30 12 April 2014
SIDMOUTH’S last detective has received top-level recognition for an investigation into historic sex abuse where two paedophile brothers were jailed.
Detective Constable Michael Chalmers was awarded the Chief Constable’s commendation for the successful outcome of Operation Goodrich.
Devon and Cornwall police said DC Chalmers and colleague Detective Sergeant Zoe Nowell’s case was a ‘truly complex investigation managed from within the Exmouth CID office, beyond the expectations of a local investigation team’.
The investigation into the systematic historic sex abuse of children began in 2010.
After the detectives took hundreds of witness statements, the case culminated with an exhumation from a churchyard in Budleigh Salterton – the first carried out by Devon and Cornwall police force.
The exhumation of Belinda ‘Binny’ Day, a sister of the accused men, caught the attention of the national media. No charges were made by police in relation to the exhumation.
Paedophiles Adrian ‘Tommy’ Dance, from Budleigh Salterton, and his brother, Colin Dance, from Exmouth, were jailed as a result of the two-year Operation Goodrich investigation.
Colin Dance was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of all seven counts of the indictment – some six counts of committing gross indecency with a child, between February 1974 and February 1980.
He was also found guilty of one act of indecent assault on a child under the age of 14, between February 1974 and February 1980, which relates to when Dance forced himself upon the terrified youngster. He will serve two-thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Adrian ‘Tommy’ Dance was jailed as part of phase one of Operation Goodrich.
Convicted ‘violent’ paedophile Tommy Dance was jailed for 21-and-a-half-years in August 2010 after admitting a catalogue of sex offences, including rape, against under-age girls.
Recently-retired DC Chalmers dedicated his award to the victims of the investigation.
He said: “This commendation is dedicated to them. It’s not about me or the police. It’s the courage of the victims that deserves recognition.”
The commendation was awarded to DC Chalmers for his dogged determination, resilience and attention to detail, while DS Nowell was congratulated on her guidance and investigative skills. They also stand to receive a Judge’s Commendation.