Partner wept as Wigan rapist is jailed

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

A convicted Wigan rapist is behind bars after breaking the rules of a suspended prison sentence and failing to comply with the sex offenders’ register.


John Darbyshire, formerly of Leigh Road in Hindley, was jailed for 16 weeks by magistrates for breaching orders designed to keep the community safe.

The 43-year-old, who served a five-year-sentence back in 1995 for rape, shouted “I love you” to his partner as he was led away from the dock at Wigan Magistrates’ Court.

Justices heard how Darbyshire, who had missed unpaid work sessions, then deliberately did not inform police of his change of address because he was “worried” about being caught.

Alan Bakker, prosecuting, told the court: “He became aware that he was wanted on warrant for not complying with unpaid work requirements.

“There were several attempts to contact him on his mobile phone, but the defendant failed to make any effort.”

A report from the probation office revealed how Darbyshire only completed 30 minutes out of 60 hours’ unpaid work given to him for breaching the order enforced back in March 2017.

“He openly admitted that he was trying to breach the suspended sentence so that he could serve the four-week custodial sentence,” said the probation office statement.

“He would rather do that than the unpaid work.”

Magistrates also heard how Darbyshire had failed to complete an annual notification, a non-negotiable requirement of the sex offenders’
register.

On top of this, Mr Bakker said, he had moved house from Leigh Road in Hindley to Taylor Grove in Hindley Green without informing authorities of his whereabouts.

Defending, Mark Ferguson, said: “What you have heard won’t elicit a great deal of sympathy.

“On the face of it he has not done very well at all.

“It’s my job to put things into context.”

Mr Ferguson told magistrates that the requirements of the sex offenders’ register have been in place for the past 21-and-a-half years and that Darbyshire is required to sign it for life.

The defence solicitor suggested that the initial sentence given to his client of four weeks, did not fill him with “motivation” to comply.

“His position today is entirely his own doing,” he added.

Mr Ferguson argued that Darbyshire had complied with the order for the best part of 20 years before he breached it.

“He doesn’t notify them of a change of address because he is worried,” added the solicitor.

Mr Ferguson told the court that Darbyshire is now in a job and making money to support his new partner and three children.

“If he loses his job it will have significant consequences for the family that he is now heavily involved with.

“It will have a dramatic impact on a lot of different people.”

Despite a lengthy mitigation, magistrates jailed Darbyshire for four weeks for breaching the terms of his suspended sentence.

He was also given two 12-week jail terms to run concurrently with each other, but consecutively with the four-week sentence, for breaching the requirements of the sex offenders’ register.

Darbyshire’s partner wept as he was taken away to begin his sentence.