Judge Christopher Batty said despite "negative things" he had said about the investigation, his comments did not extend to Det Con Paul Gough and Det Sgt Phil Davis.
-> Outrage as serial rapist bailed six times before carrying out sex attack on Leeds woman in front of her three-year-oldThe court heard the officers identified Hartley as a serial rapist after linking him at one stage to four separate rape investigations.
The judge said: "They were able to see that there was a pattern of offending emerging and there was serial rapist.
"It was their hard work and dedication that brought this matter to court.
After the case, Det Insp Dan Tillett of Wakefield District Safeguarding, said: “Carl Hartley is without doubt one of the most dangerous sexual predators I have encountered in 16 years in policing and we welcome his sentencing at Leeds Crown Court today.
-> Life for sex predator unable to control urges who raped victim in alleyway and assaulted woman in Leeds home“He has been convicted of three appalling offences in which he targeted women not known to him and forced himself upon them.
“His actions in stalking his victims in Wakefield after spotting them on nights out and then seriously sexually assaulting them in the street were predatory in the extreme and highlight the danger he poses to women.
"Equally, he put his victim in Leeds through a terrifying experience after sexually assaulting her in her own home. The fact that he committed this offence while on bail also speaks volumes regarding his character.”
Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain District Commander of Wakefield Police: “Fortunately stranger sexual assaults of the kind committed by Hartley are very rare in Wakefield.
“Hartley was brought to justice thanks to some truly tenacious investigative work by the officer in the case, Detective Constable Paul Gough, who personally reinvestigated both offences in
Wakefield and was determined to see justice carried for these women.
-> West Yorkshire man who sexually abused two young boys is jailed for 16 years“We never file such offences and will always review unsolved cases for new lines of investigation.
“I wish to commend Paul for his investigation and hope that all three of Hartley’s victims will take some comfort from knowing Hartley is now behind bars where he belongs.”