Cleveland Police has received praise from the Home Secretary for two years of detective work to put a man behind bars.

Junior Chester Bryan, from Middlesbrough, was convicted of 23 crimes against eight women. He has been sentenced to 29 years in prison and five years on an extended license.

The offences span a 20 year period from 1993 and 2013 and took place in Middlesbrough, Darlington, Leeds and London.

Detectives from the Historic Investigation Unit, which is funded by a Home Office Special Grant, took on the case after a victim came forward in 2017.

The investigation, named Operation Rosa, contained 2158 individual actions and generated 3345 items – consisting of statements, transcripts, emails and other documentation.

The force says it "has been a significant and extensive investigation".

Junior Chester Bryan pictured in October 2005 Credit: Cleveland Police

Home Secretary Priti Patel has written to the team to congratulate them on their efforts in securing the conviction saying, “You should all be very proud of your achievements in uncovering and successfully bringing forward charges in these cases which have returned a guilty verdict.”

Superintendent Mick Hunt from the Historic Investigation Unit said:

Junior Chester Bryan is a depraved and dangerous individual and I want to praise the victims in this case for having the bravery and strength to come forward and endure the trial.

Superintendent Mick Hunt
Junior Chester Bryan pictured in March 2018 Credit: Cleveland Police

Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Orchard said:

This has been a fantastic example of meticulous detective work by officers within the Historic Investigation Unit and I would like to thank them, and the Crown Prosecution Service and partner agencies for their efforts. They can be very proud of the work that they have carried out and for them to receive personal thanks from the Home Secretary is a real honour.

Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Orchard