A PREDATORY paedophile who raped and sexually assaulted a child in the 1970s is now behind bars, more than 40 years after he began abusing her.
Michael Daniel appeared shocked and pale after a judge jailed him for 21 years at Worcester Crown Court today for the abuse he carried out in the city between August 1969 and August 1973.
Members of the defendant’s family gasped in the public gallery and some wept in the corridor outside the courtroom once judge Nicolas Cartwright delivered his sentence.
The 67-year-old had denied sexually abusing the young girl, telling police she was ‘living in cloud cuckoo land’ and telling ‘a pack of lies’.
When the girl, aged between eight and 12 at the time, threatened to tell others what Daniel had done to her, he told her ‘no-one will believe you’.
But it was the victim, who wept as she gave evidence behind a screen, not Daniel, the jury believed.
The seven women and five men unanimously found Daniel guilty on all nine counts.
Grandfather Daniel, wearing a grey suit, shook his head in the dock after the foreman of the jury announced that they had found him guilty of one count of rape, six counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child following his five-day trial.
At the time of the abuse Daniel, now of Newtown Road, Worcester, was a toolmaker living in Drake Avenue, Dines Green and later in Henry Street, Barbourne.
He carried out his abuse in a bed and in his car which he drove to a dead-end known locally as ‘Co-Op Lane’, leaving the victim in ‘terrible pain’ afterwards.
The complainant described how once, after Daniel abused her, she watched the Beatles on television as they sang ‘Help’ and, though she wanted help, she felt she could not ask for it. She told the jury: “I felt ashamed. I still do.”
It was only in February 2016 that she contacted police after receiving counselling. She had told others, including health professionals, about the abuse many times, the first time in 1983.
Judge Nicolas Cartwright, sentencing, said: “She was nothing but a child when you first met her and got to know her. You corrupted her. It is no exaggeration to say you have ruined her life.”
Daniel had already served a 30-month prison sentence in 1974 for burglary with intent to commit rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against an adult woman.
Daniel lay in wait for her in a cupboard in her home in Northwick, Worcester, before he jumped out and attempted to rape her.
Judge Cartwright described this as a ‘truly scandalous’ and ‘predatory’ offence.
He added: “It was only her screams that stopped you going as far as you intended, which was to rape her.”
He also said it provided an insight into the kind of person Daniel was at that time.
Judge Cartwright said Daniel had managed to convince his second wife he was not guilty of burglary with intent to commit rape despite having previously admitted the offence.
He added: “You have had the considerable benefit of 43 years of normal family life unlike the complainant who has endured a life entirely overshadowed by what you did to her when she was a young girl.
“When you were arrested and during the trial process you have shown not one shred of remorse for what you did to her.”
He told Daniel that the sentencing regime now attached far more gravity to sexual offences of this kind than when he was jailed in 1974.
Judge Cartwright told him the effect on the complainant, as detailed in her personal statement, was ‘beyond extreme’ and she had been been particularly vulnerable because of her youth.
The statement said Daniel’s abuse had destroyed her relationship with her mother and father and resulted in an inability to form a normal, loving relationship with her husband.
She was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and given the wrong medication until she was correctly diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the cause being the abuse she suffered at the hands of Daniel.
The 21-year sentence will include a three-year extended licence period.
When he has served half his sentence he will have to apply to the parole board before he is released to serve the rest of his sentence on licence.