Derek Simpson was a local reclusive farmer who looked after Robert Sugden when he ran away from home. Derek told Robert that he was a former para trooper, having left in 1993, then went into farming. Derek allowed Robert to stay with him but when he dropped Robert off at Hawthorn Cottage, he menaced him into keeping quiet about putting him up, as he was worried people would find it strange. Upon Robert's return home to his father Jack Sugden, Derek was accused of kidnapping Robert and abusing him. Ned Glover and Jack called the police, then visited Derek at his house. Thinking they were intruders, Derek held them at gunpoint. Derek put the gun down and Ned went for him, but Derek overpowered him until Jack pointed the gun at Derek. Derek was arrested but released due to lack of evidence. In May 1995, Derek turned up at the Sugden farm and tried to explain to the Sugden's but was seen off by Jack with a shotgun. Jack told Derek that if he ever came to this house again, or near Robert again, he'd kill him. Derek never bothered the Sugden's again.