UK paedophile who made 'hidey hole' to conceal victim is jailed

Police missed a number of opportunities to catch Michael Dunn

UK paedophile who made 'hidey hole' to conceal victim is jailed

Image: Cleveland Police

A violent paedophile who created a 'hidey hole' in his home to conceal a young girl he was abusing has been jailed for 27 years in Britain after committing various sexual offences.

Michael Dunn knocked through the wall behind his fridge to create a cavity to hide the girl, who had run away from home.

Teesside Crown Court heard the 57-year-old from Redcar preyed on four victims, raping one aged just 10 or 11 over several decades.

Judge Tony Briggs said: "The history reveals you to be a devious, manipulative and controlling man with a strong urge to dominate."

Dunn committed his offences in various places around the UK - including at a house in Mottram near Hyde, Greater Manchester.

His sentencing on Wednesday followed his conviction in January of 10 rapes, false imprisonment and indecent assault.

Dunn was described in court as "controlling and short-tempered" and prosecutors said his victims suffered physically if they challenged him.

He used a bag of dust and a panel to camouflage the hole where the girl was kept, concealing her from the police on eight or nine occasions.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said Dunn knew the girl had already been sexually abused by a relative when he raped her.

'Risk of serious harm to women'

He kept his two German Shepherd dogs near the hidey hole to put off the police from looking too hard for her, the court heard.

Dunn imprisoned and raped a second female victim, subjecting her to repeated violence, and filled his house with cameras, locks on the outside of doors and alarms.

He also groomed and sexually assaulted another vulnerable teenager in the 1990s, giving her alcohol and cigarettes.

She told her mother what happened but when police investigated, Dunn got witnesses to lie and the victim was told her complaint was not going any further.

Dunn also raped a girl aged 10 or 11 when he was 19, telling her "this is what boyfriends and girlfriends do".

Rod Hunt, defending, said Dunn was undergoing tests for cancer, and partly blamed his client's violence and sexual offending on his alcoholism.

The court heard Dunn lived in Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire, Newcastle and finally Redcar before he was arrested.

Greater Manchester Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after concerns that a number of opportunities to catch Dunn were missed.

The judge said the case was horrific and described it as "repellent" that he would pick on a girl who had already been abused.

A pre-sentence report said he posed a risk of serious harm to women.

The judge said: "You still deny any responsibilities for your actions, saying they have lied to get you wrongly convicted."

Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Warren Shepheard said: "This is the most harrowing, disturbing, complex case I have dealt with in my 25 years' service.”