September 2015

Paedophile Sunday school teacher who blamed the devil after he was caught abusing young girl is jailed for 16 years

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A Sunday school teacher who blamed the DEVIL for his sex crimes has been jailed for 16 years.

In the mid-1970s Alan Dawson escaped justice for molesting a young girl after telling her devout Christian parents – fellow members of the Gospel Hall sect – that ‘Satan got hold of me’.

Dawson was forgiven for his crime and rose to become a respected elder of the Gospel Hall, also known as ‘The Brethren’, at its church at Mauldeth Road, Withington.

He used the position to groom and abuse three more vulnerable girls as young as 12. 

One girl was molested on a church trip to the seaside aged around 14. Three years later, he raped her in his basement.

Alan Dawson blamed Satan when he was caught

When she reported her ordeal to church elders, Dawson told them they had had an affair. The revelations led to a bizarre meeting at the Dawsons’ home between church elders, the victim, and her attacker.

“Alan Dawson got on his knees, he was crying and he asked me for forgiveness,” the woman said.

“I remember (an elder) looking at me and saying that ‘God forgives’ and that if I don’t forgive him, God would not forgive me. So that was the only reason why I said ‘I forgive you’.”

As a punishment Dawson was briefly made to sit in the back during Gospel Hall services, but justice didn’t catch up with him until this year, after his four victims, now mature women, told police of their ordeals.

Married Dawson, who ran gardening business Newcroft Nurseries in Urmston, was found guilty of seven sexual assaults and one charge of rape at Manchester Crown Court.