Ex-brethren jailed after historic sexual abuse against young Manchester girls

A former bretheren at gospel hall church in south Manchester has been convicted of historic sexual abuse against young girls.

Alan Dawson, 54, of Newcroft Road, Urmston, was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment after he was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault and one count of rape following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Dawson attended the Gospel Hall Church on Mauldeth Road in Withington and also ran a Sunday school, giving him regular contact with young children, whom he met and befriended at the church.

The abuse took place between the 1960s and the 1980s on four different young girls aged between 11 and 16-years-old.

The abuse did not take place at the church itself, but at Dawson’s home in the Didsbury area and at the homes of the young girls.

Dawson’s crimes were investigated in December 2013, when one of the victims reported the abuse to police.

An investigation was launched by DC Terina Arthern from the Child Protection Unit at Wythenshawe Police Station. 

DC Arthern said: “Dawson held a position of trust within the church which he abused in the worst way possible.

“He took the trust placed upon him to befriend young girls and their families and then sexually abused them over a period stretching nearly two decades.

“I would like to pay tribute to the women who came forward and gave evidence against Dawson. These women have suffered in silence for years and have lived with the knowledge of what Dawson did for so long.

“But thanks to their bravery, he has been convicted of his appalling crimes and justice has finally caught with him.

“I hope this case highlights to anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse, either historic or current, that Greater Manchester Police is absolutely committed to providing help and support to victims and bringing offenders to justice.

“There is no time limit, and we will thoroughly investigate your complaint no matter when the abuse took place. There is help and support out there, so please don’t suffer in silence and feel like you are alone – we can and we will help you.

“I understand this case will have caused a great deal of anxiety and upset in the communities where Dawson lives and used to attend church. I hope his conviction reassures those concerns but if anyone continues to be affected by this investigation then please get in touch with me on 0161 856 4862 or 101.”

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.

– You can call Greater Manchester Police on 101, or alternatively people can refer themselves to St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, which provides a comprehensive and coordinated forensic, counselling and medical aftercare service to anyone in Greater Manchester who has experienced rape or sexual assault on 0161 276 6515.

– Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential support service run by women for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused. Confidential helpline: 0161 273 4500. Black and Minority Ethnic helpline: 0161 273 4514.

– Survivors Manchester offers support and counselling for adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape, regardless of when the event happened. Contact 07919 246 267.

Related Articles