A Greater Manchester Police officer is facing jail after pleading guilty to attempted rape. Ernesto Ceraldi – who police said ‘used an appalling level of violence’ – is understood to be a specialist firearms officer and police dog handler within the force.
Lancashire Police said today the 43-year-old admitted attempted rape and a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, following an investigation. Officers were called to an address in Edenfield, near Bury, at 1.23am on April 2 following reports a woman had been attacked and subjected to a serious sexual assault.
Ceraldi, understood to be from the Darwen area of Lancashire, was arrested at the scene. Lancashire Police said he was remanded in custody following the hearing at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday and would be sentenced on June 22.
DI Carole Langhorn, of the East Rape and Serious Sexual Offenses Team, said: “This was an abhorrent crime committed against a woman in a place where she was entitled to feel safe. The appalling level of violence used by Ceraldi was particularly shocking.
“We have carried out a thorough and detailed investigation to ensure Ceraldi is brought to justice and I would like to thank my colleagues, and those from the Crown Prosecution Service, for their professionalism throughout this case.
“Lancashire Police are committed to protecting women and girls from harm. I hope today’s outcome will encourage other victims of sexual violence and abuse to come forward knowing that they will be listened to, they will be believed and we will put the perpetrator before the courts .”
In a statement, Lancashire Police said: “A man has pleaded guilty to attempted rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) following an investigation by our detectives in the East Rape and Serious Sexual Offenses Team.
“We were called to an address in Edenfield at 1.23am on April 2 following reports a woman had been attacked and subjected to a serious sexual assault. A 43-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of rape and ABH.
“Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Ernesto Ceraldi, 43, of no fixed address, was charged with rape and ABH and remanded into custody. Following further investigation and consultation with the CPS the indictment was amended to attempted rape and ABH.
“Today (May 4), Ceraldi, who is a serving police officer with Greater Manchester Police, appeared before a judge at Preston Crown Court where he pleaded guilty on the full facts of the case. He was remanded into custody to be sentenced on June 22.”
GMP Deputy Chief Constable Terry Woods said in response to today’s hearing: “Both Greater Manchester Police and the communities we serve rightfully expect the highest standards from police officers. Ceraldi’s actions in relation to the offenses for which he has appeared in court today, were nothing short of deplorable and he does not represent what we as police officers stand for in our duty to protect and serve our communities.All our thoughts are with the victim at this time.
“Building public trust and confidence in policing is one of our highest priorities, and whilst Ceraldi’s actions will undoubtedly cast a shadow on that trust, I hope today’s result demonstrates that policing will not stand for this behaviour, inside or outside our ranks.
“His actions do not reflect the ethics, values and standards which form the foundations of our service to members of the public and our officers will do all we can to repair the damage he has caused to public confidence. Following sentencing, this will be dealt with with accordingly by our Professional Standards Branch.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.