4th Dec, 2021

Twisted pervert abused ten-year-old girl in Coventry 'torture den' attic

Editorial Correspondent 22nd Aug, 2018 Updated: 22nd Aug, 2018

A DEPRAVED Coventry man who held a young girl captive in his ‘torture den’ attic as he played out sadomasochistic fantasies on her has been jailed for 22 years.

Sick pervert David Challenor subjected the girl to horrific abuse which included sexual abuse, tying her up, whipping her, and giving her electric shocks.

And he even took photographs of the ten-year-old being tortured and abused to help him re-live the shocking ordeal he had put her through.

When arrested, 50-year-old Challenor accused the girl of being a liar and a fantasist – but the police found the gruesome attic kitted out just as she had described.

Despite that, he pleaded not guilty to charges including false imprisonment, rape, gross indecency, assault by penetration, indecent assault and assault causing her actual bodily harm.

Challenor, of Charterhouse Road, also denied taking indecent images of her, making indecent images of children by downloading them, and possessing prohibited images.

But after almost nine hours at the end of an 11-day trial the jury at Warwick Crown Court found him guilty of all but one of the charges of taking indecent images, by unanimous verdicts.

Although he was jailed for 22 years, Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC found him to be ‘an offender of particular concern.’

That means instead of automatically being released after serving half of his sentence, it will be a matter for the Parole Board whether he is freed at that stage.

And he may end up serving longer than that or even the whole 22 years before being released, after which he will be on licence for an additional 12 months.

Prosecutor Andrew Wallace said most of the charges related to the ordeal to which Challenor subjected one girl, who lived in the Stoke area of the city at the time.

The offences came to light after the girl confided in someone about a sexual act she had performed, which led to her being interviewed by police towards the end of 2015.

Mr Wallace said Challenor had ‘various sexual fetishes and fantasies’ including dressing up as a small girl himself in onesies and adult-sized baby dresses and nappies.’

Pretending to be a little girl called Lucy, when the girl was at his home he took her into the attic where he asked her ‘to do things to him’ and abused and assaulted her.

After leaving, she was initially too frightened to tell anyone what he had done, but eventually did so.

When arrested, Challenor denied the offences and claimed the girl was ‘a fantasist.’

But, as the girl had described, in the attic police found sex aids, whips, gaffer tape, adult-sized nappies, dummies, a stun gun, ropes hanging from a beam, candles, and a bondage kit, which Mr Wallace observed ‘demonstrate she has not made it up.’

In addition, on a memory card in a digital camera were indecent images, including some of that girl, which Challenor denied being responsible for taking.

And on another device were indecent images of children which had been downloaded from the internet, which included ‘some very graphic images’ involving a baby.

Challenor described in court the supposedly legitimate uses of each of the items found in the attic, as did his wife – but their accounts of what they were for did not always tally.

After the jury returned its verdicts, Mr Wallace read out an impact statement in which Challenor’s victim said she had been left traumatised by her ordeal.

Robert Sandford, defending, conceded: “She is damaged, I make no issue about that.”

He said Challenor, who has medical issues, has been the full-time carer for his wife, who attended court in a wheelchair and was now unlikely to be able to remain in their home.

Challenor was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

Recorder Syfret told him: “It is hard to comprehend how you could behave with such depravity. The harm done by you to her is hard to overestimate.”

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