Horse rapist - DNA provided breakthrough

It was thanks to ‘billion-to-one’ DNA evidence found at Maggie Hunt’s stables, detectives linked horse rapist Derek Woods with the crimes.

It was a swab taken from Maggie Hunt’s much-loved mare, Amber, that gave detectives the breakthrough they needed to link Woods to the sick acts of animal cruelty.

When evidence was found in the stable, and two further swabs were sent for forensic testing, the police found the profile was an exact match for Woods’ DNA.

Before Woods was arrested, the DNA results were submitted into the police database, but his name failed to show on any records.

The breakthrough came when DNA taken after Woods’ arrest was matched against the samples from the crime scene – revealing a ‘billion-to-one’ exact match to the offender Derek Woods.

Detective Constable Darren Campbell said: “In the interview, he was shown the CCTV footage in its entirety of him assaulting the horse.

“He only spoke to confirm his name and date of birth. He remained silent throughout the interview and didn’t say a word on tape.

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“He was bailed for us to compare his DNA against the swabs. When the DNA match came back from the first crime, we had an exact match. It was less than one-in-a-billion chance that it was not Woods.

“When he answered bail he was given the opportunity to be re-interviewed on fresh evidence of the DNA evidence.

“After consulting his solicitor he didn’t want to be interviewed and he was charged on the three offences – sexual activity with an animal and two offences of animal cruelty.”

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