March 2012

Sexual predator who raped two children comes face-to-face with his victims in court

HIS scarf pulled over his face, retired grocer William D’Arcy tried to do what he’s done for decades – hide from his crimes.

At 76, D’Arcy has now been exposed as a sexual predator who raped two young children, subjecting them to hundreds of indecent assaults.

His victims came face-to-face with D’Arcy, the man who wrecked their childhoods, at Hull Crown Court yesterday.

But they were denied the chance to see him sent to jail after psychiatrists ruled D’Arcy, known to his army of customers as Mike, was unfit to stand trial as he has an age-related mental condition.

Ordering him to sign the sex offenders’ register, Judge Michael Mettyear told him: “You have been regarded for a long time as having a good name and reputation and that has been exposed as a fake.

“Your exploits have been proved and all right-minded people now know you to be a persistent serial sex offender.”

As D’Arcy walked free from court, one victim said: “He should have been going down for 15 years for what he did for me, not walking free.

“He has robbed me of my childhood and my dignity. In my eyes, he is the biggest coward walking this earth.

“It is not fair that, even though we have been through all this heartache and pain, he is still able to walk the streets.

“I just wanted to stare him in the eye because he knows he has done this to me.

“I have not got justice, there is no justice whatsoever.

“He could serve 1,000 years and be stoned and it still wouldn’t be justice for what he has done.”

It has taken 18 months, two trials and numerous court hearings for the victims to see D’Arcy finally blamed for his crimes.

When D’Arcy, of Gloucester Street, west Hull, was deemed mentally unfit to stand trial by psychiatrists, the Crown Prosecution Service and Humberside Police still pushed to bring the case to court.

He faced 24 charges of sexual assault during the 1970s and 1980s at a “finding of fact” hearing.

The jury heard evidence from the victims and witnesses, as in a normal trial, but D’Arcy was not present in court.

After three hours’ deliberation, they returned a unanimous verdict that he did commit six rapes and 14 offences of gross indecency against the children.

D’Arcy attacked his victims at his butcher’s Hickory Chick in west Hull and at his Apple fruit and veg shop in Hessle Road.

He sobbed as the court heard he would lure young girls in their school uniforms into his store room before indecently assaulting and raping them.

He even got one child pregnant and she was forced to have an abortion.

D’Arcy, who also ran the Albion pub in Caroline Street, Hull, bought his victims’ silence with money and told them it would kill their parents if they ever found out the truth of what he had done to them.

For decades, the women kept his secret out of fear but they finally came forward after one of the victims told her mother.

Judge Michael Mettyear said his sentencing powers were severely restricted because of the special court hearing. The only options open to him were a supervision order or an absolute discharge.

The judge said: “What you did to these two women was absolutely appalling and disgraceful and deserves punishment but my hands are tied.

“It is said you have suffered but that is nothing in comparison with the suffering you caused these two ladies.”

He said the two victims had been vindicated because the jury had convicted D’Arcy of the abuse.

Judge Michael Mettyear said: “Many may think this case has been a waste of time as I have no power to punish you but it is not a waste of time because these two ladies have had their complaint accepted and have been vindicated.”

D’Arcy has been given a two-year supervision order and told to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.