Monster who sexually abused girls in Doncaster is jailed for 24 years - as judge praises victims' bravery

A courageous girl stood up in court to tell the depraved monster who sexually abused her about the heartbreaking impact of his actions.

Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 11:04 am

She added that she wanted to see the 39-year-old, of Doncaster, ‘get what he deserves’.

During a May 10 sentencing hearing, Sheffield Crown Court heard how jurors found David Catherall guilty of a string of child sex offences including rape; attempted rape; sexual activity with a child; and making indecent photographs and videos of his two victims.

Catherall, of Urban Road, Hexthorpe, Doncaster, also pleaded guilty to additional offences of making indecent photographs prior to his trial, which took place last month.

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Jurors found 39-year-old David Catherall guilty of a string of child sex offences including rape; attempted rape; sexual activity with a child and making indecent photographs and videos of his two victims

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on seven counts involving sex offences including rape, and the Crown Prosecution Service has subsequently offered no evidence on those counts.

One of the girls Catherall sexually abused chose to read her victim impact statement to the court, forcing Catherall to hear exactly what she had to say in her own words.

She described how she has previously self-harmed, and still continues to; and told the court how her continued distress over the sickening abuse she suffered at Catherall’s hands has even led to her attempting to take her own life.

But the valiant victim added: “I have come to my senses, and have realised he does not deserve it… I want to be here to see him get what he deserves.”

Jurors found 39-year-old David Catherall guilty of a string of child sex offences including rape; attempted rape; sexual activity with a child and making indecent photographs and videos of his two victims

The statement from Catherall’s second victim was read to the court on her behalf by prosecution barrister Matthew Allen Bean, and detailed the prolonged and destructive impact his abuse continues to have on her life.

The inspiring survivor described how she worries about how the psychological effects of Catherall’s abuse will affect her ‘future prospects’.

Judge David Dixon praised the bravery of both girls.

He told them: “The bravery to come forward and make allegations like this can never be under-estimated.”

Jurors found 39-year-old David Catherall guilty of a string of child sex offences including rape; attempted rape; sexual activity with a child and making indecent photographs and videos of his two victims

“Coming into a room where people are wearing funny hats and there are 12 jurors judging you – and that’s what they are doing – takes a great deal of bravery.”

“No-one can take away what's happened, no matter what we would like to do – that simply isn’t possible,” added Judge Dixon.

Summarising the facts of the case, Judge Dixon described Catherall as someone with a ‘fascination for pre-pubescent girls’, who employed a range of manipulative tactics such as crying and even holding a knife to his own throat to ‘get what he wanted’ from the girls he sexually abused, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons.

“You are a horrible, horrible man who has ruined the start of life for two young women who deserved much, much better,” said Judge Dixon.

Judge Dixon said he also deemed Catherall to be ‘dangerous’ and said he believes Catherall will commit further serious sexual crimes against pre-pubescent girls, if given the opportunity.

Defending, Katy Rafter said Catherall has no previous convictions, and told her he has ‘nothing and no-one’ since his offending was uncovered.

She added that Catherall has mental health difficulties which will inevitably be exacerbated during his time in prison.

Judge Dixon jailed Catherall for 24 years, with an extended licence period of five years due to the danger he poses to the public, bringing his total sentence to 29 years.

Catherall will have to serve at least two-thirds of his custodial sentence, or 16 years, before he can be considered for release as a consequence of his extended licence. Most offenders are usually only required to serve half.

He also made Catherall the subject of a life-long sexual harm prevention order.

Doncaster Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (DRASACS) is an independent charity that has been helping victims of sexual violence in the town since 1987. Call 01302360421 to book an appointment, or visit their website at: https://www.drasacs.org.uk/ for more information.