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Posted on Tuesday 10 January 2023
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A rapist who subjected a little girl to horrendous sexual assaults is expected to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

William Dawson lured the victim into his County Durham home in the late 90s, telling her he was her uncle before making her carry out the sexual acts in return for spoonfuls of jam and 20 pence pieces.

He threatened the girl, saying he would harm her parents if she spoke out.

The brave victim contacted police and in 2019, a complex investigation led by Detective Constable Norman Foster, began.

Dawson was charged with rape, indecent assault and inciting a girl to commit an act of gross indecency.

He denied all wrongdoing, but jurors saw through his lies and found the 72-year-old of Cotswold Gardens, Gateshead, guilty on all counts after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court last September.

He was remanded and sentenced yesterday (January 9) to 27 years in prison.

DC Foster said: “I first met the victim three-and-a-half years ago, who disclosed to me the most horrific crimes carried out against her by Dawson from when she was very young.

“The detrimental impact on the psychological and emotional development of this child into adulthood goes without saying as she has had to recount the ordeal, not just to officers but also in court.

“She has shown immense fortitude and determination throughout the case, and through her commitment and courage, has enabled us to secure a successful prosecution.

“Dawson committed these horrendous offences against a vulnerable child and is expected to spend the remainder of his life in prison.

“Although the emotional scars will never vanish, hopefully this chapter of the victim’s life can now come to a close and she can look forward to a brighter future.” 

If you, or someone you know, is suffering at the hands of an abuser, report it to Durham Constabulary on 101, or call 999 if life is in immediate danger.

You can also contact The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 03333 448 283,or visit

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