April 2017

Abuser jailed after victim reports attacks to teacher

A Lydd pensioner wept and shook in the dock today as he listened to the poignant and damning words of a child he sexually abused

The courageous girl, who sat just feet away from her attacker during the hearing, asked for her statement be read by the prosecutor.

In it, she wrote as if she was addressing 72-year-old Michael Dillon directly, saying: “I am sure that you will agree that sexual abuse is wrong and nobody should have to go through it.

“It shouldn’t be as common as it is, yet nobody expects it to happen to themselves.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting it at all – not at the age of 10. I could barely tie my own shoe laces let alone contemplate sexual abuse.”

Canterbury Crown Court heard how the child later plucked up courage to report the attacks to a teacher.

Dillon, of Sycamore Close, initially denied the attacks as friends rallied round to support him.

But Judge Heather Norton heard how one of his friends, who had believed every word of his denials, changed after Dillon began to confess to his sexual perversions.

He has now been jailed for six years after admitting 10 offences and has been told he will not be eligible for automatic release after serving three years.

As he shook in the dock, the judge said he had been designated  “an offender of particular concern” and will only be freed if the parole board rules it is safe for him to be released back into the community.

The victim, who sat with her mother and father throughout the hearing, told how revealing details of the attacks to her teacher had been “one of the worst days of my life”.

She added: “I knew nothing would be the same and that everything would change… and I am not a massive fan of change to be honest, so I knew from the beginning it was going to be tough… but not as tough as it has actually been.”

In an eloquently written impact statement, the victim told how she was made to feel that the abuse had been her fault.

“In my opinion I feel disgusting. I look in the mirror and think how on earth could you let someone do such a thing? I try not to remember, but I always do.

“I like to think of myself as a strong person but there is only so much I can handle. Right now I am trying to erase the memories of what happened and make room for new ones.

“But I know deep down that will never happen and it is safe to say that I will never get the closure I need. I will have to come to terms with that…in time I will.”

After Dillon was taken away to begin his sentence, Judge Norton spoke privately to the victim and her parents.