Ex – Labour councillor Karen Danczuk’s brother was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, with a five-year extension for sex offences against three women at Manchester Crown Court today.
Michael Burke, 38, was found guilty on eight counts of rape, one count of serious sexual offence against three women, and three counts of rape against his sister at the three–week trial last month.
Ms Danczuk, the ex-wife of Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, waived her anonymity to publicise the case, so her ‘monster’ brother does not pose as a threat to women anymore.
He repeatedly assaulted her and raped her when she was between 9 and 11.
The court heard he would force himself on her while she was drifting away in her sleep in her own bed.
LISTEN to what Karen Danczuk said in her emotional interview for ITV’s Loose Women:
The other two victims have automatic lifelong anonymity, and they cannot be identified.
The Honourable Mr Justice Gilbart said Mr Burke knowingly exploited his victims’ vulnerability, and caused them significant psychological harm, which continued long after the offence.
He said: “He [the defendant] regards those in close relation to him as objects to use as he pleases.”
The judge said Mr Burke showed no remorse, and lacked insight in alleging that Ms Danczuk conspired with the other two victims against him.
Mr Justice Gilbart said: “He is very good at blaming others, but fails to accept responsibility for his actions.”
There were three aggravating and one mitigating factors the judge took into consideration.
Burke’s main defence was that he was young at the time of the offences, and if he were sentenced back in the 90s, his sentence would have been one for a minor – half to three-quarters less than an adult.
The defence lawyer, Mr Walker, tried to plead other mitigating features with the judge – that Mr Burke used to take part in a political party, and was active in the community, and the fact that there was someone very ill in his family, who he was very concerned about.
While the judge said he would take this into consideration, he summarised that this does not necessarily make him of good character.
Prosecutor Mr Wright QC said the defendant “raped his victims because he felt he could”.
After consideration, the judge came to a decision that there is a high risk of Mr Burke posing as a threat to women close to him again and therefore eligible for an extended sentence.
Mr Burke will serve 3 concurrent sentences adding up to 15 years and a 5–year extension.
Ms Danczuk was not in the courtroom today.
Police recorded crime figures showed an increase of 41% in all sexual offences for the year ending June 2015 compared with the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics: