Abuse disclosed after sex education lesson in school
*A warning that this story contains information which some readers may find distressing.
A ‘manipulative monster’ from Union Mills has been jailed for more than five years after sexually abusing, and taking away the ‘innocence’ of, two children.
Dennis George Wakefield, formally of Snugborough Avenue, was sentenced at Douglas Courthouse today (8 September).
The 58-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to 12 offences including four counts of gross indecency and two of indecent assault; they were carried out against two girls under the age of 16.
Between 2016 and 2022 Wakefield abused the children by making them touch him inappropriately on multiple occasions; he also touched one of the girls intimately with his genitals.
The abuse was reported after a teacher raised concerns to social services, and police, after comments made by one of the children in a sex education lesson at school about body parts.
It led to both girls disclosing what had happened to them and Wakefield was arrested.
As part of the investigation his electronic devices were seized and police later recovered more than 500 indecent images of children.
He later admitted six offences of making indecent photographs of children between August 2010 and July 2022.
"An awful man"
During sentencing a video victim impact statement was played to the court which showed one of the children, who is now eight years old, sitting on a sofa talking to a policewoman.
Describing Wakefield as an ‘awful man’ the girl said the abuse had left her feeling ‘confused’ and ‘angry’ and she sometimes struggled to sleep.
“I start to panic,” she said: “Sometimes I start crying. I’m worried about my surroundings. When I see old men who are bald I get scared.”
In a written statement, which was read to the court by the prosecutor, the girl’s mother said the day the abuse was disclosed was ‘painfully embedded’ in her memory.
Describing it as a ‘day of torture’ she added: “A bit of me died that day.
“They should be living like innocent children and they are not. The guilt I feel is unbearable.”
Addressing Wakefield directly, via the statement, she wrote: “I hope the court sees you for the manipulative monster you are.”
"No one is to blame except from him"
Wakefield’s advocate told the court his client – who he said was a former school caretaker, army cadet instructor and special constable – had suffered a ‘spectacular fall from grace’.
“The defendant acknowledges that his conduct was reprehensible,” he told the court: “No one is to blame except from him – they (the victims) are 100 percent innocent.”
Wakefield, who has no previous convictions, had written his own letter to the court which said: “I will forever be truly sorry for the way I have behaved.”
Sending Wakefield to prison for 68 months Deemster Graeme Cook said his offending had been ‘unbelievable’.
“It is without doubt appalling,” he told him: “You took away the innocence of these young girls and one can only hope, in time, they get over it.”
Referring to the child's victim impact statement video the deemster said it was the first time he’d seen this used in sentencing proceedings.
“She calls you an awful man,” he told Wakefield: “Well so say all of us!”
Wakefield was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register and made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.