February 2019

Chaddesden rapist now admits indecently assaulting young girl more than 20 years ago

A convicted rapist from Derby has admitted to sexually abusing a girl under the age of 10 in Chaddesden in the 1990s.

Police have confirmed that Philip Cunningham’s victim, who is now in her 30s, came forward a week after he was jailed for 13 years in March.

That case, which was covered by the Derbyshire Live, prompted her to approach detectives and tell them how the now 49-year-old touched her sexually at Roe Farm Community Centre, Chaddesden, more than 20 years ago.

That led to a fresh investigation onto the allegation and saw officers interview the offender at HMP Whatton, Nottinghamshire, where he is currently serving,

Cunningham, of Matlock Road, was brought from custody to Derby Crown Court to face the new charges.

Dressed in a t-shirt and trousers he pleaded guilty to two counts of indecently assault against the same victim.

Roger Wilson, for Cunningham, asked for the case to be adjourned as he needed to see his client again so that he could get full instructions from him.

He said: “I am certainly not ready to mitigate today.

“The defendant is in custody and is currently serving a long sentence.

“He is not going anywhere for some time.”

Details of the rape
At his original sentencing hearing, in March last year, the court was told how DNA left on a bottle at the scene of a sexual assault in Derby city centre linked 48-year-old Cunningham to a rape which took place in Darley Park 14 years previously.

Mark Achurch, prosecuting that case, said Cunningham’s rape victim was a mother in her 30s.

He told the court: “On May 21, 2004 she was walking in Darley Park when she realised she was being followed.

“He grabbed her from behind and pulled her into a wooded area.

He struck her to the face pulled her clothing from her and raped her.

“During the course of the rape he told her ‘you know you want it’ and threatened to punch her again if she called out.

“He also kissed her breast and tried to bite it and swabs taken from the victim at the time were matched almost 14 years later to the defendant when he carried out a similar sex attack.”

And the sexual assault of the teen
Mr Achurch said that second incident happened at the rear of Derby Quad at around 4.20pm on September 26, 2017.

He said the victim, who was under 18, was walking from college to meet her mother when she realised she was being followed by Cunningham.

Mr Achurch said: “He complimented her on her boots and she thanked him, not wanting to be rude and ignoring him, but this led to him leading her into an alleyway where he sexually assaulted her.”

Judge has adjourned sentence
Recorder Timothy Green adjourned the sentence until March 12.

He said: “I think it needs to be within the next 28 days both for the victim and the defendant.

“Mr Cunningham, you have admitted a sexual offence against a young girl and these are serious matters.

“It is not possible to sentence you today but the judge that does sentence you will have to take into account your previous offending.

“Whether this will add to the long sentence you are currently serving is up to them.”