Horse sex man frightened woman
PUBLISHED: 13:05 02 February 2011 | UPDATED: 13:18 02 February 2011
Northcliffe Media Ltd.
Maggie Hunt carried a personal alarm every time she visited stable.
Horse rapist Derek Woods stole Maggie Hunt’s daily pleasure of caring for her animals when he started having sex with her elderly mare, Amber.
She was forced to wear a personal alarm every time she visited her remote stables and lived in fear of what - or who - she would find there.
A lack of lighting at the premises meant Maggie often tended her horses in failing light – particularly through the winter months.
Her nightmare began on December 18, 2009, when, in the dark, she noticed buckets left for the horse had been moved around.
She found a man asleep in Amber’s stable.
When she challenged him, and asked him to leave, she realised he was drunk.
Detective Constable Darren Campbell said some 10 months later Maggie would provide ‘compelling evidence’, correctly picking out the same man – Derek Woods - at an identity parade after he was caught on CCTV assaulting the helpless animal.
DC Campbell said: “She noticed that water containers and food bins had been moved from outside to inside so she decided to examine her horse.”
When the owner noticed the mare had been injured and was having problems urinating, she called the police.
DC Campbell said a lack of power at the premises proved challenging for the police when setting up covert cameras to catch Woods in action.
He said: “Maggie was very upset about what was happening.
“She knew someone was still going there. She was worried, because she was always going there in the dark.
“She was worried for her own safety as much as the horses.
“She used to go and make as much noise as she could to try and scare whoever was there away.”
Woods’ depraved acts of animal cruelty came to an end after Detective Sergeant Zoe Nowell enlisted the help of Devon and Cornwall police’s technical surveillance unit.
Hidden cameras set up in July 2010 had alerted police Woods’ return to the stable – allowing officers to catch him in action on August 9 and make an arrest.
When the police arrived they found a still-hot Chinese meal on the ground outside the stable, alerting officers their man was still inside.
DC Campbell said: “The technical surveillance unit uses covert tactics and is usually used in drug trafficking, terrorism and very, very serious crimes.
“I have only seen them twice in the ten years I have been working, so that shows how often we use them at this level.
“This was the most unusual investigation I have ever conducted.”