Violent paedophile who hid girl in hole behind fridge jailed

Michael Dunn
Michael Dunn

A violent paedophile who made a "hidey hole" in his home to conceal a girl he was abusing has been jailed for 27 years for a string of serious sex offences.

Michael Dunn, 57, from Redcar, knocked through the wall behind his fridge to create a cavity which he used to hide the girl - who had run away from home - from the police.

The hole in the home of violent paedophile Michael Dunn which he used to conceal a girl he was abusing.

The hole in the home of violent paedophile Michael Dunn which he used to conceal a girl he was abusing.

He preyed on four victims, raping one aged just 10 or 11, over a period of decades, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Judge Tony Briggs said: "The history reveals you to be a devious, manipulative and controlling man with a strong urge to dominate."

Dunn wept in the dock during the sentencing, which followed his conviction for 10 rapes, three charges of false imprisonment and three charges of indecent assault after a trial in January.

Jurors were told that Dunn used a bag of dust and a panel to camouflage the hole where the girl was kept, concealing her from the police on eight or nine occasions.

Judge Briggs said previous reporting was wrong to liken the case to that of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who kept family members captive, as Dunn's runaway victim wanted to be hidden from the authorities.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said Dunn knew the girl had already been sexually abused by a relative when he raped her, cynically telling her that she had had sex "before so she knew how it felt".

His kept his two German Shepherd dogs near the hidey hole to put off the police from looking too hard for her, the court heard.

"Paranoid" Dunn imprisoned and raped a second female victim, subjecting her to repeated violence, and filled his house with cameras, locks on the outside of doors and alarms.

He also groomed and sexually assaulted another vulnerable teenager in the 1990s, giving her alcohol and cigarettes.

She told her mother what happened but when police investigated, Dunn got witnesses to lie and the victim was told her complaint was not going any further.

In a Victim Personal Statement, the complainant said that following Dunn's conviction, "I know I have been believed and that means so much to me".

Dunn also raped a girl aged 10 or 11 when he was 19, telling her "this is what boyfriends and girlfriends do" and said she was not to tell anyone.

Years later, after she had told her mother, Dunn threatened to have her prosecuted for slander.

The girl who was hidden said in her statement she had suffered from nightmares and she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The woman Dunn raped said she had suffered depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Rod Hunt, defending, said Dunn was undergoing tests for cancer, and partly blamed his client's violence and sexual offending on his alcoholism.

Judge Briggs told Dunn, a father-of-six, he had a "volcanic temper, particularly when you are in drink".

The court heard Dunn lived in Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire, Newcastle and finally Redcar before he was arrested.

The judge said the case was horrific and described it as "repellent" that he would pick on a girl who had already been abused.

A pre-sentence report said he posed a risk of serious harm to women.

The judge said: "You still deny any responsibilities for your actions, saying they have lied to get you wrongly convicted."

Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Warren Shepheard said: "This is the most harrowing, disturbing, complex case I have dealt with in my 25 years' service."