April 2022

Paedophile ‘robbed victim of her childhood’

A young girl was ‘robbed of her childhood’ by a paedophile who groomed then repeatedly sexually abused her.

Michael Dennett, now 54, of Wigan told the girl, who was aged 12 and 13 at the time, that he ‘loved her’ and that she was ‘beautiful’.

Sickening sexually charged texts which Dennett had sent her were discovered by the victim’s mother.

The victim told police that for more than a year Dennett had been ‘acting weird’, saying that he ‘loved her’ and asking if she would ‘be his girlfriend’.

He had sent pictures of him ‘down below’ and had made a FaceTime call to her while he was in the shower. “It was clear that there was communication between the defendant and the girl that was wholly inappropriate,” the prosecution said.

“He would tell her that he loved her and hat she was beautiful, she said.” It was also discovered that Dennett, from Wigan, had repeatedly sexually abused the girl.

After police looked at the victim’s phone, they found further messages between the two. In reference to a picture of the girl, Dennett said: “I’m going to send that picture to Santa so he knows what I want for Christmas, haha.”

“He has ruined my teenage years as there is not a day that goes by when I am not thinking about it,” the victim said in a statement read in court. “The trust in adult males has faded.

“It will never go away. I can only try to rebuild my life in the best way I can.” Her mother added: “He has stolen my baby’s innocence.

“Men like him ruin children’s lives, not just at the time of the offence but all their lives.”

Dennett was found guilty of:

– Three counts of sexual assault of a child,

– One count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity,

– Four counts of sexual activity with a child

– One count of sexual communication with a child.

Sentencing, Judge Hilary Manley told Dennett: “You sexually abused and exploited a vulnerable child.

“You were obsessed with her, yet you knew she was just a child. I am satisfied the damage you have caused to her in particular is profound.

“You have robbed your victim of her childhood and of a normal teenage existence. You caused your victim mental anguish and physical discomfort.”