Paedophile used secret 'hidey hole' to conceal runaway girl
A violent paedophile who made a "hidey hole" in his home to conceal a girl he was abusing has been convicted of a string of sex crimes.
Michael Dunn, 57, from Redcar, knocked through the wall behind his fridge to create a cavity which he used to hide the runaway girl from the police.
Teesside Crown Court heard Dunn, who was "paranoid, controlling and short tempered", abused four victims with the offences spanning a number of decades.
Prosecutor Richard Bennett told the jury if any of his victims challenged him "they suffered physically" and "he had sex when he wanted".
"Michael Dunn is a violent, controlling and sexually abusive man," he said.
He told the jury the victims "were in his thrall and felt almost powerless" against their "paranoid and short-tempered" abuser.
The court heard he would use a bag of dust and a panel to camouflage the hole where the girl was kept, concealing her from the police on eight or nine occasions.
The girl had already been the victim of sexual abuse, having been raped and beaten by another man.
Mr Bennett said: "The Crown say he took advantage of that situation for his own sexual gratification."
He imprisoned a second female victim, subjecting her to repeated violence, and filled his house with cameras, locks on the outside of doors and alarms.
He also groomed and sexually assaulted another vulnerable under-age girl, giving her alcohol and cigarettes, and raped another pre-teenage girl.
On Wednesday the jury convicted him of 10 rapes, three charges of false imprisonment and three charges of indecent assault.
He was cleared of one charge of rape, one of making a threat to kill and one of grievous bodily harm.
Detective Sergeant Dave Pettrick, Cleveland Police, said: "This was an extremely complex and difficult inquiry which spanned many years and several locations in the UK.
"I would first of all like to pay tribute to the victims for their bravery and for supporting our investigation, which enabled us to bring Dunn before the courts.
"Essentially Dunn groomed several women and young girls, in some cases making them completely dependent on him, and carrying out sexual offences against all of them.
"Some of the victims were kept in line through Dunn's extreme violence or even through the fear of violence and he had complete and absolute control over their lives.
"He ensured he and his victims evaded the authorities while he continued to abuse and control the women.
"Needless to say, all four women are deeply affected by their terrible ordeal. I hope today's verdict will bring some comfort to them as they attempt to move on with their lives."
Judge Tony Briggs remanded Dunn in custody until his next appearance.