‘Stay away!’ - fears convicted paedophile aims to return to Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 July 2015

Tommy Dance

Tommy Dance

Archant

A former top police officer, who successfully jailed a violent paedophile who silenced his victims with fear and threats to kill, said the child abuser should not return home.

Recently-retired Detective Constable Michael Chalmers said Adrian ‘Tommy’ Dance, who was jailed in 2010 for a catalogue of vile sex offences against young girls, should “do the decent thing” and move away on his release.

The Journal understands the serial child abuser and rapist could be released as early as 2017 - after serving just a fraction of his 21-and-a-half-year prison sentence - intending to return to his home - just five miles from Exmouth.

DC Chalmers said: “I know that some people will have some grave concerns whether he is ‘cured’ and there’s the possibility he may reoffend.

“People will find it extremely difficult to have a convicted paedophile living on their doorsteps.”

Dance, of Queens Road, Budleigh Salterton, who used to live at Pines Road, Exmouth, was jailed when aged 54.

Legal loopholes in his original sentencing meant he successfully won several appeals to reduce his time in jail - and he could be free as early as September 2017 after serving just seven years.

Dance’s victims were recently contacted by the Probation Service, warning the paedophile was eligible for parole in two years’ time.

If the parole board deems Dance cannot be safely released back into the community at that time, he will be forced to wait until May 2019 when supervised release is automatic.

A source told the Journal the paedophile “plans” to return to Budleigh Salterton, where he lived before he was jailed.

But residents have told the Journal the paedophile would not be welcome.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said: “There is a lot of injustice in a situation like this. I was pretty shocked to hear he might come out soon.

“If he is allowed to go back to Budleigh, the Probation Service must need their heads read. We were told he wouldn’t be able to go to Budleigh or Exmouth, but it doesn’t seem that’s happening now.”

One of Dance’s victims told the Journal the paedophile’s early release would come as a kick in the teeth for those he abused - they expected him to “rot in jail” for two decades until he was 75 years old.

The woman said: “For the majority of the victims, this news is going to be heartbreaking.

“A couple of them were timid; I don’t know how they will be able to cope with this mentally, physically and emotionally.

“Because of him, I was always looking over my shoulder.

“Hearing he could be out soon is like a bereavement; I feel numb. You go through all these emotions, then you have to go through it all again when you find out someone is coming out.

“It will be like going back to square one and there is nothing that can be done about that for us. We have to live with that. We have to go with what the court says.”

She added: “I think for a lot of his victims, what they went through, this is going to leave a bitter taste. I think they will struggle.

“As a victim, you are a victim for life. Even if he took his own life, I would still be a victim. It moulds you for the rest of your life. It puts you in a place that you can’t explain.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Exmouth Journal. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Exmouth Journal