Horse rapist - how the police caught Derek Woods

PUBLISHED: 13:52 03 February 2011

Horse rapist Derek Woods broke into the stable on several occasions.

Horse rapist Derek Woods broke into the stable on several occasions.

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Here, the police reveal a step-by-step account of how they caught horse rapist Derek Woods.

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.

• ‘Softly spoken’ Derek Woods was not in a stable relationship, when he set his sights on sexually assaulting an aged horse – the police have revealed.

• Woods, from Alphington in Exeter, began his catalogue of animal cruelty on December 18, 2009, when he was found asleep in Maggie Hunt’s mare’s stable.

• The horse owners suspicions were raised when she found buckets in and out of the stable had been moved and her elderly mare, Amber, had been injured.

• Dummy cameras and alarms were installed to catch the culprit, but without success.

• Some two months later, on February 4 2010, still convinced the offender was visiting the horse, Maggie noticed fluid on Amber’s leg. Testing showed it to be human semen.

• DNA was obtained but there was no information on the police data base.

• A lack of power at the remote stable made police tactics to catch the offender problematic.

• The police technical support unit was drafted to set up covert cameras in Amber’s stable after Maggie Hunt contacted officers on July 5, 2010, reporting further injuries to her horse.

• At around 11pm on August 9, 2010, the alarm in Amber’s stable was activated. Police found Woods at the scene and arrested him.

• CCTV footage captured on that night shows Woods assaulting one horse before attempting the same act on a horse in a neighbouring stable.

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