March 2015

Child rapist sentenced to 17 years in jail for seven years of despicable crimes


RAPIST John Dunne has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after admitting multiple offences of rape and sexual activity with a child over a period spanning seven years.

Dunne, 53, formerly of Swindon but who has been living at Lower Kewstoke, Weston-super-Mare, admitted the ‘appalling’ acts in court after giving no-comment interviews to police.

Swindon Crown Court heard yesterday how Dunne would dress his victim in adult underwear before forcing her to pose for him – saving photographs to his computer.

He would tell his young victim, who was seven when the abuse began at an address in Abbey Meads, not to tell anyone what was happening.

In total Dunne, who recently moved away from Swindon, admitted five charges representing successive rapes, sexual touching and penetration between 2004 and 2008, and 2010 and 2013, when the girl was aged between seven and 16.

Police were first alerted in September 2012 when the girl’s sister dialled 999, having heard what was going on.

Claire Marlow, prosecuting, said: “She was extremely upset and disclosed she had been sexually abused.

“When interviewed she said she could not remember when the abuse started, but she was very little.

“He would touch her and make her touch him. He would put adult underwear on her and take photographs of her posing in it. He would tell her not to tell anybody.”

Paul Trotman, defending Dunne, said his client could not remember what he had done.

“He gives a somewhat bizarre account of why he is unable to recall these events,” he said.

“He tells me he went abroad to a Caribbean island, where he picked up hepatitis. He spent three weeks in hospital and had treatment for a considerable time.

“He does not have an understanding as to why he committed these offences. One of the points raised is he has never said sorry. If bridges can be mended he would like to apologise.”

Mr Trotman said Dunne’s family in Thailand would now lose the £500 monthly income he provided.

Judge Tim Mousley QC, sentencing Dunne, said: “The sexual abuse that you carried out upon her was extensive and prolonged over a number of years, and I am satisfied that you were motivated by your own perversions and depravity.

“What you did to her took place over a large part of her childhood – her formative years. It is quite clear to me you have done irreparable damage to her. She has embarked upon the long journey to recovery. Today is a major part of that process, but will not be the end.

“I can detect hardly any sign of remorse in you for what you have done, even now. It seems you are not really able to bring yourself to say sorry.”

Dunne was given 17 years for rape, 10 years for sexual assault of a child, and four years for sexual activity with a child, to run concurrently.

After the hearing the victim’s mother, who cannot be identified, said an apology would not be accepted.

“We are just numb, and still in a state of shock,” she said. “It makes you feel physically sick to sit and listen to what has happened. He has taken my child from me when he groomed her.

“No sentence is ever long enough, because in eight years he will be out and living his life again.

“An apology doesn’t mean anything now, and I will never forgive him.”