Paedophile's victims silenced with threats to kill

PUBLISHED: 13:53 09 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:03 13 August 2010

'Dangerous' paedophile Tommy Dance silenced his young victims by threatening to kill them if they dared shop him to police.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Adrian ‘Tommy’ Dance, 54, of Queens Road, Budleigh Salterton, deliberately targeted and groomed young girls – engineering scenarios where he was alone with them.

The charity worker’s hidden secret life as a violent paedophile came to an end last Friday when he was jailed for 21-and-a-half years, and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

The court heard how Dance used a mixture of fear, threat, violence and manipulation to rape and sexually abuse young girls.

In sentencing Dance to jail, Judge Graham Cottle told the sex offender he had committed a ‘gross breach of trust’ against children, saying: “The consequences of your victims are they are left to survey the misery of their lives as a result of what you did.

“The psychological harm of your victims is what you would expect – immense – and a substantial custodial sentence would properly reflect the seriousness of your crimes.”

The court heard how charity worker Dance had preyed on young girls over three decades – repeatedly raping a girl in the 1980s, and subjecting four others to a series of horrific and sordid sex crimes, including the abduction and rape of a 14-year-old.

He threatened to kill his young victims if they went to the police, telling them no one would believe them.

Prosecutor Nicolas Gerasimidis said many refused to believe Dance had committed such heinous crimes, but an investigation was sparked after one of his victims, a 14-year-old girl, found the courage to blow the whistle on the paedophile’s abuse.

The court heard that Dance had ‘cajoled’ her onto the back of his motorbike, driven her against her will to his home and raped her.

Mr Gerasimidis said the youngster had tried in vain to telephone for help, but was thwarted by a poor mobile phone signal.

The court heard: “He tripped her and pushed her to the floor in the lounge. He hit her and sat on her stomach, pinning her wrists above her head.

“She pleaded with him to stop, saying ‘please I want to save myself for someone special’. To that, the defendant replied ‘I am someone special’.”

Screaming, crying and pleading ‘please don’t I am too young’ she tried in vain to push him off, but Dance was too strong.

The court heard that Dance had told his young victim ‘shut up, someone will hear you’.

Driving her back to her home he pulled into a lay-by and warned he would kill her if she dared to speak out.

The court heard the girl was so affected by the rape it was as though someone had ‘switched out a light’.

The court heard a second victim, who was 11 when Dance subjected her to a catalogue of rape and abuse, said she felt ‘compelled’ to comply with paedophile’s horrific sex acts – fearing no one would believe her.

She said: “I suppose he thought it was his right.

“I was a child, I didn’t know any different. He said he loved me lots.”

Defence counsel Jonathan Mann said Dance had pleaded guilty to save his victims the ordeal of facing a trial.

He said Dance had made it clear his guilty plea had been made to show his contrition.

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