A man has been arrested for a string of sex offences after he was found to have subjected four different girls to sexual abuse over a number of decades.
Teesside crown court heard how Michael Dunn created a ‘hidey hole’ in his home in which he kept two of his victims captive. The 57 year old knocked through a wall behind his fridge and would use a bag of dust and a panel to conceal the hole.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, told the court Dunn’s first victim had run away from home and had already been sexually abused by another man before being imprisoned by Dunn. Bennett said:
“The crown say he took advantage of that situation for his own sexual gratification.”
The court heard how Dunn then imprisoned a second victim, who he would subject to repeated acts of violence and sexual abuse. He groomed a third victim by providing her with alcohol and cigarettes, whilst his fourth victim – a girl under 13 – suffered sexual abuse in the form of rape.
Bennett went on to tell jurors how Dunn “had sex when he wanted” and that if any of his victims challenged him they “they suffered physically”. Dunn also filled his house with cameras and alarms, and put locks on the outside of all doors so his victims could not escape.
On Wednesday 25th January 2016, Michael Dunn was charged with 10 counts of rape. The jury also convicted Dunn of three charges of indecent assault and three charges of false imprisonment.
Dunn was cleared of one charge of rape, one of grievous bodily harm and one of making a threat to kill.
DS Dave Pettrick, of Cleveland police, said:
“This was an extremely complex and difficult inquiry which spanned many years and several locations in the UK.
“I would first of all like to pay tribute to the victims for their bravery and for supporting our investigation, which enabled us to bring Dunn before the courts.
“Essentially, Dunn groomed several women and young girls, in some cases making them completely dependent on him, and carrying out sexual offences against all of them.
“Some of the victims were kept in line through Dunn’s extreme violence or even through the fear of violence and he had complete and absolute control over their lives. He ensured he and his victims evaded the authorities while he continued to abuse and control the women.
“Needless to say, all four women are deeply affected by their terrible ordeal. I hope today’s verdict will bring some comfort to them as they attempt to move on with their lives.”
Dunn has been in custody until his next court appearance.
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Source: The Guardian