May 2023

West Mercia Police officer jailed

A police officer has been jailed after being found guilty of rape and five counts of sexual assault.

West Mercia Police’s Deputy Chief Constable said Michael Darbyshire’s crimes were abhorrent and his victims had shown great bravery in coming forward.

Darbyshire, 57, was arrested in November 2019 after the crimes were reported and suspended from duty a few days later.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison at Worcester Crown Court following a two week retrial.

He had denied the charges.

The offences, which took place between November 2018 and August 2019, were reported to police in November 2019.

A previous trial in March 2021 resulted in a hung jury.