September 2021

Darlington pervert jailed for sickening attacks on two young girls

JUSTICE has finally caught up with a pervert decades after he raped and sexually assaulted two young girls.

Michael Burns carried out the horrendous abuse on one victim when he was a teenager and then targeted another young girl when he was in his late 20s.

The 70-year-old is now facing ten years behind bars after being convicted of rape and five charges of sexual assault following a trial at Teesside Crown Court.

The pensioner remained impassive throughout the hearing even as the victim impact statement of one of the now-women was read out to the judge.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told of the devastating impact of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Burns.

“From being a young child I carried the burden of what Burns did to me; the sexual abuse; the dirty little secret I kept to myself for so many years.

“He treated me as though I was nothing more than a piece of meat, not only was he cruel and manipulative, worst of all, he made a little girl fell so incredibly dirty and helpless,” she said.

“Since Burns’ conviction and since being able to stand up in court and explain what happened to me, I have felt an enormous weight lift off my shoulders – I know this man no longer has a hold over me.

“I am now hoping to move forward in my life in a positive manner.”

The court heard how the rape and four of the sexual assaults were carried out in the 60s before he joined the Navy. A further offence was carried out almost two decades later.

Burns, of Grainger Street, Darlington, was found guilty of all charges following a trial.

Duncan McReddie, in mitigation, said his client denied the offences and continues to deny them following his conviction.

Recorder Thomas Moran sentenced Burns to ten years in custody describing his behaviour as ‘sneaky and devious’.

Speaking about the first victim, the judge said: “It’s clear from the evidence that she bravely gave in the trial that she has lived with what you did for over 50 years whilst you have got on with your own life.

“The offences made her feel incredibly dirty and worthless.”

Turning to the second victim, the judge added ‘it was an indication of your depravity and warped thinking that you asked her if she liked it’ before continuing the assault despite her pleas to stop.