December 2016

Man collapses in court as he is found GUILTY of eight rapes against three victims including nine-year-old girl

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THE brother of selfie queen Karen Danczuk collapsed in the dock as he was convicted of eight rapes against three different victims

Michael Burke, 38, slumped in the dock at Manchester Crown Court after a jury found him guilty of a string of sex attacks over an 18 year period between 1992 and 2010.

Burke is the older brother of TV personality and former Labour councillor Karen who is famous for her revealing “selfies” and who is now separated from her MP husband Simon Danczuk.

The jury heard how Burke was accused of 15 rapes, one attempted rape and one indecent assault against three females over an 18-year period starting from the early 1990s when he was a teenager.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC told a jury at Manchester crown court that the first two victims were “pre teens” when they were subjected to numerous sex attacks by Burke.

The third victim was an older woman who was also raped between 2008 and 2010.

Mr Wright told the jury: “He is a man no doubt with many positive qualities but he has a flaw.

“That flaw is that in respect of each of them, he abused them for his own gratification.”

He added that the first victim was aged between nine and 11 when she was “repeatedly raped” by Burke, who was then aged between 14 and 16.

Mr Wright said that Burke then “turned his attention” toward the second victim when he was 16.

The attacks continued for nearly three years and ended with an indecent assault in the street, the court heard.

He was “controlling and violent” toward the second victim, who was “emotionally immature” at the age of 12 when the abuse began, the court heard.

Mr Wright added: “He exploited that immaturity for his own sexual gratification.

“On occasions she was submissive and pliant and would put up no resistance.

“On occasions she would protest but her protestations would be ignored.

“He plied her with drink and she would become intoxicated and drowsy.

“She felt incapable of complaining.

“She felt ashamed and embarrassed about the sexual abuse she had endured.”

Mr Wright said that the third victim was the same age as Burke and was raped three times over a two year period between 2008 and 2010 during which time Burke “watched a great deal of pornography.”

Mr Wright said of the victims: “They were demeaned and abused and for many years they remained silent.

“They felt powerless in the face of this man’s conduct but each of them have now found the strength to speak up and accuse this man of the abuse they have suffered.”

Burke, of Rochdale, Greater Manchester, denied all the charges but was eventually convicted.

He claimed that he was the victim of “a conspiracy ” by the three complainants and added: “I will prove it eventually. These allegations have been wholly made up against me.”

Burke told the jury:”They are trying to bolster their stories, which is why I am sat here now. No one who knows me would recognise that person.”

The defendant had to be helped from the dock by security guards after appearing to nearly collapse as the foreman of the jury returned the verdicts at the end of a three week trial.

Mr Justice Gilbart told him: “You have been convicted of serious offences and a custodial sentence is inevitable.”