Thursday, 1 December 2016

Michael Burke Guilty of Rape!

£17K or £23K?:  It was The Sun that Paid It!
YESTERDAY Karen Danczuk, 33, the estranged wife of Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk and a former Rochdale councillor, waived her right to anonymity by speaking publicly after her brother’s conviction on rape charges.  
Mrs Danczuk, the estranged wife of Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk and a former Rochdale councillor, told the jury at Manchester Crown Court which convicted her brother of a series of sex attacks:  'Whereas my first time of having sex was with my brother.  It’s horrible.  Even now I can’t sleep naked.  I can’t even cuddle in bed.  Most people remember their first time having sex with somebody they love.'
She told a jury she was regularly molested in the family home between the ages of six or seven until she was 15 or 16 by Michael Burke, her brother who is five years older than her. 
After a three-week trial on Wednesday, the jury found Mr Burke guilty of eight counts of rape and another serious sexual offence against three women, including three counts of rape against his sister between 1992 and 1994. 
He was cleared of nine other serious sexual offences. 
Karen Danczuk initially revealed publicly she had been abused, without naming her attacker, in an interview with The Sun newspaper in February last year. 
The two other victims came forward shortly afterwards.  Neither can be named for legal reasons.  During the trial Mrs Danczuk gave evidence from behind a curtain around the witness box, shielding her from the dock where her tormentor sat, often shaking his head in denial. 
The mother of two boys aged six and eight, told of her unconventional and unhappy childhood, growing up in a terraced house in Middleton, near Rochdale. 
Northern Voices, which was covering the case on last Friday and the Monday of this week, heard in the summing-up by The Hon. Mr Justice Gilbart* that Karen Danczuk had been paid a sum of money for The Sun interview.  The amount is disputed but is said to be in the region of either £17,000 or £23,000. 
In her evidence Karen Danczuk said: 
'It started out like it was a game, it was not so much an attack, it was, like, innocent. 
'It was a game of hide and seek, think I was about six or seven. He would always take me into his bed. He would lie next to me, we would be under the bed covers for ages. The first time he was literally on top of me naked. 
'It was a slow process. That kind of went on for some time, the hide under the bed covers stuff carried on. It still haunts me now.' 
She said the abuse progressed to rape, aged 11, on a weekly basis, usually on a Sunday evening which was 'bath night' and continued until she was 16. 
The first person she told of these events was a clinical psychologist at Nye Bevan House in Rochdale in 2009 after she felt suicidal and depressed. 
She was cross-examined over two days by Nigel Power QC, defending her brother, who queried why she went first to the papers before the police, asked if money was her motivation and accused her of 'attention seeking'
She said:  'To this day I have grown up and fought my whole life to change my childhood.  I decided I would come forward, that was my choice. 
'Before I ever became famous I was seeking help, before I ever knew I would end up in the public eye. 
'This idea that it is just attention, this has ruined my life.  I have had a horrendous life, it’s a fact.  This is why I have had help from doctors because it’s a fact.  Days when you have, being dead makes more sense than being alive. 
'I think I finally felt ready to face it, I’m ready to see this through, he can’t get away with what he did. 
'My life has been hell for what he’s done, I don’t want anything, I want closure.' 
Meanwhile, today The Sun ran another exclusive story based on Karen Danczuk's account of how she suffered from her brother's attentions when they both were children in the early 1990s.
Mr. Michael Burke will be sentenced on December 15.  After the guilty verdicts, Mr Justice Gilbart told Mr. Burke:  'A custodial sentence is inevitable.' 
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* According to his Wikipedia entry:  Sir Andrew James Gilbart (born 13 February 1950), styled The Hon. Mr Justice Gilbart, is a judge of the High Court of England and Wales.  He was educated at Westminster School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[1]   He was called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1972 and became a bencher there in 2000.  He was made a QC in 1991, a circuit judge in 2004, a senior circuit judge and Honorary Recorder of Manchester in 2008, a deputy judge of the High Court from 2004 to 2013, and his appointment as a judge of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) was made in 2013.  Illness prevented him taking up his appointment until October 2014.  Although a Planning Law specialist at the Bar, and heavily involved in the long-running Manchester Runway litigation, Mr. Justice Gilbart was well-regarded by the Manchester Bar for his approach to criminal cases as the Recorder of Manchester.  During his tenure in that office he presided over many high-profile criminal cases, from murder to the high-profile Manchester Riots, in respect of which he set local sentencing guidelines which were later overturned by the Court of Appeal. 
He was made a Knight Bachelor on 10 November 2015[2]

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