March 2021

Paedophile said he was ‘craving someone’ when he attacked his seven-year-old victim

A paedophile described as “the devil incarnate” told his young victim’s mother how her daughter “filled a lonely gap” in his life.

Dennis Powley, 72 of Yarrow Road in Grimsby, admitted to the woman that he had sexually abused her daughter from the age of seven in a series of sickening emails.

The contents of the emails told her events in his life, including his wife leaving him for a woman and his own health problems, led to him committing the crimes.

After the young girl confided in her parents about the abuse she had suffered at the hands of evil Powley he was confronted and told her mother: “Why does this happen with her and no one else?

“It may be a combination of events in my life that took me over the edge of whatever it is.

“I was craving someone and I wanted to be loved again. Perhaps she filled a part in my life. Perhaps this is where I tripped, I cannot remember wanting to upset her. I am ashamed of my actions causing these problems.”

It wasn’t until a number of years later that Powley was arrested.

Prosecuting, Jeremy Evans, told Grimsby Crown Court Powley was to be sentenced for six counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault.

Mr Evans said the abuse of the girl started when she was just seven years old and lasted for five years.

He said: “It wasn’t until she was 14 or 15 that she plucked up the courage to make a disclosure for the first time.”

The court heard Powley was in a trusted position and it was when his victim realised he was in contact with another young girl and lived close to a Grimsby primary school that Humberside Police were informed.

Mr Evans said years after first targeting and indecently touching the girl, he taunted her by asking her over the phone what she was wearing.

He said: “Contact ceased but in 2009, her mother had an email exchange with him and he made partial admissions. They were sent from his work email and he attempted to explain his offending.

“His victim has told how she felt powerless. She said she was relieved she does not have to relive the experiences in a trial and is pleased he has accepted his wrongdoing. She has suffered from anxiety and depression but is now a married woman with the full support of her husband and she looks forward to an exciting future where she hopes to start a family herself in due course.”

Judge Ahmed Nadim condemned Powley, telling him he “manipulated situations to touch his victim who trusted him.”

The judge jailed Powley for four years and two months and told him: “She didn’t know at that time that what you were doing was wrong.

“You took advantage and exploited her innocence. The abuse you engaged in was well-planned. There was substantial emotional and psychological damage to her and I pay tribute to her for the fortitude and strength of character she has shown.

“It is understandable she should view you as the devil incarnate and I hope this brings closure to the many years of hardship she has had to endure.”

Powley has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely.