6th Jul, 2022

Coventry man who sexually assaulted girl at her home then apologised to parents jailed years later

A COVENTRY man who had sexually assaulted a girl after turning up at her home while her parents were at work apologised to them the following day.

When his victim eventually went to the police more than ten years later, David Dunham denied indecently assaulting her on three occasions in the mid-2000s.

But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty last month of indecently assaulting the girl when she was 11 and three charges of sexual activity with a child.

Following an adjournment, Judge Barry Berlin, sitting at Wolverhampton Crown Court, jailed Dunham (55) of Parrotts Grove, Aldermans Green, Coventry, for four years and ordered him to register as a sex offender for life.

During the trial prosecutor Richard Whitcomb said that in the 2000s Dunham was a trusted friend of the girl’s father, and would visit their home on occasions.

But during the period when the girl was aged between 11 and 14 there were three incidents when he betrayed the family’s trust and sexually abused her.

The first was when she was about 11 and he followed her into the kitchen where he picked her up by the waist, sat her on a work surface, opened her legs and stood in front of her.

Dunham then began kissing her up and down her neck before putting his tongue in her mouth at which she pushed him away and told him: “Don’t do that.”

The girl did not tell anyone what had happened, and on a later occasion Dunham gave her a lift and kept putting his hand on the inside of her thigh.

He then leant over and put his hand under the waistband of her trousers, but she grabbed his hand and told him she wanted him to take her home, which he did, telling her it was to be their ‘little secret.’

The third incident took place when the girl, then aged 13 or 14, was sat at her computer in the dining room of her home when Dunham turned up and walked into the house.

He asked where her father was, and when she said that he and her mother were both at work Dunham asked her what she was doing on the computer.

And as he stood behind her to see, he put his hand on her shoulder and then inside her bra.

“She tried to push his arm away and told him to stop, and he then grabbed her face and started to kiss her,” said Mr Whitcomb, who told the jury Dunham then stopped when he heard the front door opening.

It was her brother’s girlfriend, who as she came into the house had seen Dunham leaning over the girl with his hand on her breast and kissing her neck.

Dunham quickly left, and after the girl told her what had happened, she took her to her grandmother’s home, and her parents were told.

Her mother’s instinct was to call the police immediately, but the girl said she did not want that.

The following day Dunham came to the house and started to apologise to the girl’s mother, saying he had been ‘inappropriate’ and that his hand had gone too far, for which he was sorry.

“The prosecution say that therein lies a confession,” said Mr Whitcomb. “But there was no such confession when he was interviewed by the police in 2017.”

Dunham denied having touched her on any occasion or having kissed her, claiming he had upset her by telling her off which had led to her making her original complaint.

But the jury rejected the suggestion that a telling-off more than ten years ago had led to Dunham’s victim eventually deciding to go to the police.

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