'I hope he rots in jail' - Tommy Dance paedophile victim speaks out
PUBLISHED: 12:51 09 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:14 13 August 2010
It was Dance's victims' bravery which brought the vile paedophile to justice. Here one brave victim speaks exclusively to the Journal of the hell she endured at the hands of the pervert
When the 54-year-year-old Budleigh Salterton father was jailed at Exeter Crown Court for 21 years after carrying out a series of vile sex crimes against children, his victims bravely sat through proceedings – some sobbing as the sordid details were revealed – watching as their tormentor was led away to face his punishment.
While Dance faces two decades behind bars, his victims will spend the rest of their lives coming to terms with the fear and shame he put them through.
They say they are pleased with the length of sentence he was served and are determined to get on with their lives.
One victim exclusively told the Journal how Dance pretended to be her friend and someone she could trust – but betrayed her youthful innocence in the worst way.
She said: He turned out to be an evil, manipulative liar. He took away my teenage years, my virginity and also something inside me.
“He could make you do anything he wanted by manipulation, by the words he used.
“Anyone who knows him would say he has the gift of the gab. He changed me.
“What he did to me, what he made me do, has never gone away. It has always been in my head.
“You just deal with it and try and get on with your life.”
It was while watching an abuse storyline involving a teenager unfold on EastEnders that prompted the victim to confide in Exmouth police.
For years she had kept Dance’s sordid crimes secret, fearful she would not be able to prove his vile perversions.
She was interviewed when officers – already cataloguing Dance’s decades of abuse – called on her early this year. She praised Exmouth’s detectives for their sensitivity when dealing with her ordeal.
“Although it has been an upsetting time with lots of different emotions running through me – hating him and myself, anger, lots of anger – that this has happened to me, I am relieved they knocked on my door. It had to come out,” she said.
“It has brought some closure to the last 23 years and I hope that he rots in prison.”