Dance case detectives honoured by the chief constable
13:08 14 April 2014
The Devon and Cornwall police chief constable presented two top Exmouth detectives with a commendation for their dedication to a two-year investigation into historic sex abuse.
Top cops from Exmouth CID have been honoured by the chief constable for their investigation into historic sex abuse that culminated in the jailing of two paedophile brothers.
Detective Constable Michael Chalmers and Detective Sergeant Zoe Nowell were awarded the chief constable’s commendation for their work leading to the success of Operation Goodrich.
Devon and Cornwall Police said DC Chalmers and DS 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, their work led to the exhumation of a body from a churchyard in Budleigh Salterton – the first carried out by the 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, of Roseway, Littleham, 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.
He will serve two thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Adrian ‘Tommy’ Dance, of Queens Road, Budleigh Salterton, was jailed as part of phase one of Operation Goodrich.
A convicted ‘violent’ paedophile, he was jailed for 21 and a half years in August 2010 after admitting a catalogue of sex offences, including rape, against underage girls.
Recently-retired Detective Constable Michael Chalmers dedicated his award to the victims of the brothers’ crimes. 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.”
DC Chalmers also thanked his wife Rachel for her patience and support while the investigation was ongoing.
DS Zoe Nowell said: “I feel honoured to be recognised.”
In praise of the pair, the commendation was awarded to DC Chalmers for his dogged determination, resilience and attention to detail, while DS Nowell was congratulated on her guidance, investigative skills and grit.
The detectives also stand to receive a Judge’s Commendation for the quality of their investigation.
Devon and Cornwall Police said: “It is due to DC Chalmers’ attention to detail, perseverance and resilience and DS Nowell’s leadership, positive approach, determination, quality investigation and considerable patience over a two-year period that this case produced a successful outcome for the victims.”