From 'evil' James Carragher to tragic Christopher Laverack - the cases of Chief Superintendent Richard Kerman
HE HAS led countless major investigations in a distinguished 31-year career, including five years as head of crime for Humberside Police.
Framed commendations in Chief Superintendent Richard Kerman's office pay tribute to his "thoroughness and dedication to duty".
One such commendation followed the jailing of the most evil man he encountered – Brother James Carragher.
Carragher, who abused 22 boys at Market Weighton care home St William's, was jailed in 2004 for 14 years following an investigation led by Mr Kerman.
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Mr Kerman, who is now retiring, says: "Carragher was the most evil man I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.
"What makes him stand out for me was he was in a trusted position and was well-regarded in child protection circles.
"I think he had even been honoured by the Pope for his work, yet he abused numerous children during his time at St William's and damaged lives beyond belief.
"I never saw a hint of remorse or any kind of apology. All he was bothered about was himself."
When he became head of crime for Humberside Police, from 2007 to last year, Mr Kerman had responsibility for all major crime investigations, including every murder case.
He says: "I had set my heart on being the head of crime, it's a detective's ambition.
"You have responsibility for every murder inquiry in the force, you oversee the major crime unit and deal with organised crime groups and top-end criminals.
"You oversee the force special branch with ultimate responsibility for counter-terrorism in the county.
"You are managing people in high-risk operations and you are managing high-risk offenders.
"The major incident team in my view is the best in the country. It has had a 100 per cent detection rate since 2005 and that's very rare in a force of this size."
He says the case which haunted detectives was the question of who killed nine-year-old Christopher Laverack, whose body was found in Beverley Beck in 1984.
Police finally got their breakthrough last year, when detectives conclusively proved Christopher was sexually abused and battered to death by his uncle Melvyn Read.
Mr Kerman says: "While I was head of crime, Detective Superintendent Ray Higgins reinvestigated the death of Christopher Laverack.
"That case had haunted Humberside Police, it was our biggest undetected case.
"I was really pleased it was detected by Ray and his team during my time. Ray deserves a massive amount of credit for the work on that job."
Hull-born Mr Kerman, who joined Humberside in 1985 after three years with Merseyside Police, is thankful he has never had an unsolved murder case.
He says: "Thankfully, I have never had an undetected one. There's always the satisfaction that the case came to a conclusion and the families got some justice.
"At the end of the day, you can't bring a loved one back.
"I have dealt with a massive amount of suffering. You can't carry it all with you but there are individual cases that never leave you.
"I am still in touch with one family. You realise that families who have been affected by homicide never really recover. We talk about closure and moving on but I am sure they never really do."
Mr Kerman insists the Humberside Police area is now a safer place than in the past.
"When you look back, violence in Humberside reached a peak in the 1990s," he says. "Over the past ten years, all the statistics and evidence show that's going down.
"The county is safer than it was in the past."
As a long-serving officer, Mr Kerman has been accustomed to dealing with death and trauma but nothing on the scale he witnessed following the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
Mr Kerman spent three months in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka as Disaster Victims' Identification Commander.
He says: "There were 6,000 bodies in the mortuary. The scale of it and the devastation was indescribable – that had a lasting effect on me. I have never forgotten it.
"What sticks in my mind was that the water was somehow discriminating.
"You would go to one village that was devastated and another had been left alone.
"There were dead people everywhere. There were cars in trees, a boat inland and timber all around.
"I remember recovering the bodies of two young lads from England who were similar ages to my young sons. When you see that it becomes quite a personal thing.
"On Boxing Day every year there's always a time of the day when I think about the tsunami and the families affected by it. I wonder how they are getting on, particularly the families in England who lost loved ones."
Mr Kerman has ended his career as divisional commander in the East Riding, where he has overseen a 16 per cent reduction in crime in the past year.
He says: "I have really enjoyed my time in the force but it's time to hand over to a new generation.
"With the new chief constable coming that will be a new start for the force.
"There is now also a new crime commissioner and they will take it forward in their own way."
He was keen to pay tribute to retiring Chief Constable Tim Hollis, who is preparing to hand over to the first woman to lead the Force, Justine Curran.
Mr Kerman says: "Tim Hollis came to the force when it was in a difficult place with the police standards unit, there were serious failings in the force. He reorganised and provided real leadership and the force went from strength to strength.
"Humberside Police nationally is regarded as a good force again."