Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

FACEBOOK GROOMER RAPED TEEN GIRL; RAPIST JAILED FOR 7 YEARS Man Used Website to Meet Girl, 16

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

FACEBOOK GROOMER RAPED TEEN GIRL; RAPIST JAILED FOR 7 YEARS Man Used Website to Meet Girl, 16

Article excerpt

Byline: KRYSTA EAVES

A CALCULATING rapist who attacked a teenager after targeting her on Facebook is today starting a seven-year prison sentence.

James Edward Dunn, 28, lied about his age on the social networking site and persuaded his 16-year-old victim to meet him near From Page One Ormesby Hall during the summer holidays. After realising he was drunk, the girl tried to run away and started screaming. The rape lasted more than 20 minutes and Dunn afterwards said he would kill his victim if she told anyone, Teesside Crown Court was told. Months earlier, he arranged a date with a 15-year-old girl he met on the site, touching her sexually over her clothes after buying two litres of wine and taking her to a graveyard.

Dunn, who was already on the sex offenders' register for a previous attack on a woman, was claiming to be as young as 19 in the Facebook chats with young girls he had engaged in for five years. When he was arrested, Dunn said that the girls were trying to "stitch him up" because they knew he was on the register. He denied the rape, but a Teesside Crown Court jury found him guilty in June. Michael Bosomworth, defending, said the defendant was immature, interested in girls who were approaching adolescence, and had been taking amphetamines and drinking heavily.

The crime draws comparisons with the way in which 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall, from Darlington, was approached on the web prior to her death at the hands of killer Peter Chapman. The 33-year-old, who had also said he was 19 to persuade Ashleigh to meet him, was jailed for a minimum of 35 years after he pleaded guilty to raping and strangling the trainee nursery nurse in October 2009. Following the case, Ashleigh's mum Andrea Hall, called on Facebook to install a paedophile "panic button" providing a direct link to child protection experts.

The site rejected the calls. Judge Peter Armstrong said Dunn had an unhealthy interest in teenage girls on both sides of the age of consent and that the defendant would be put on the Sexual Offender's Treatment Programme while in prison. Dunn, of Elmhurst Gardens, Hemlington, was jailed for seven years for the rape last August and he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child on December 18, 2009. …

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