February 2000

Sex fiend caged for teen rape

A BUSINESSMAN who raped a babysitter and sexually assaulted five others was jailed for 12 years.

Donald Warhurst, 48, who is feared to have claimed up to 20 victims aged between 12 and 16, plied girls with drink and drugs before assaulting them at the Hadfield, Derbyshire, home he shared with wife Fiona.

Police were called in when two girls spoke to officers at the Family Protection Unit at Buxton in Derbyshire.

Detectives later spoke to 18 other girls named as possible victims.

At Manchester Crown Court, Warhurst, who ran a furniture maker’s shop in Hadfield, was convicted of one count of rape and 13 counts of indecent assault on five girls between May 1995 and July 1998.

Fiona Warhurst, 25, was acquitted of four counts of aiding and abetting rape but found guilty of one charge of common assault and a charge of causing actual bodily harm. She admitted one count of possessing amphetamines and was bailed conditionally to await sentencing.

Judge Barry Woodward said Donald Warhurst entrapped young girls: ‘You committed offences against them and kept their silence by threats,’ he said.