A rapist who terrorized women and girls over a 45-year period has died in prison.
Dennis Smalley was jailed for 25 years in March 2016 after being found guilty of 25 rapes, 16 counts of either indecent assault or indecent assault with a child, two serious sexual crimes and assault that caused actual bodily harm.
An official report released on Monday by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman confirms that Smalley, 70, died at the hospital from Covid pneumonia on March 16, reports the Manchester Evening News.
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The report from the body that conducts independent investigations into complaints and deaths in custody says that Smalley had not left HMP Wakefield – nicknamed ‘Monster Mansion’ – in the weeks before he became ill, and ‘it therefore appears that he caught Covid- 19 in jail ‘.
However, it goes on to say that investigators were convinced that the prison had “appropriate policies and procedures in place and had taken reasonable steps to deal with the risk of the prisoners, including Mr Smalley, becoming infected”.
Liverpool Crown Court heard Smalley’s abuse started in the 1970s and continued for almost 45 years.
The Manchester Evening News previously reported that Smalley, from Hindley in Wigan, attacked a woman shortly after she gave birth.
A woman was raped, sexually abused and assaulted by him for more than a decade, and many of his victims were young teenagers.
A senior detective who led the investigation of the former military bandman said he left a ‘trace of destruction’ through the lives of his 11 victims.
Detective Claire Hughes said after the hearing: “I’ve had the dissatisfaction of dealing with some really disgusting people in my time at Greater Manchester Police, but Dennis Smalley is without a doubt one of the worst I’ve ever met.
“He is a man who is apparently incapable of inflicting on the unfortunate women and girls anything but misery he encountered during his life.
“The trail of destruction that this man has created through the lives of so many young girls and women is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to repair.
“But I hope they can somehow find solace in the fact that this monster is now behind bars for the rest of his life.”
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s report says Smalley first followed advice from prison staff to protect himself from coronavirus by 2020.
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He received his first dose of a vaccination on February 25 this year, but was tested positive on March 2.
The report adds that his condition worsened and he was taken to the hospital on March 11, where he died five days later.
“The clinical reviewer concluded that Mr. Smalley’s clinical treatment at Wakefield was of a good standard and corresponded to what he might have expected in the community.
“We found no non-clinical concerns,” the report said.
“Mr Smalley had not left Wakefield in the weeks before he became ill, so it appears he caught COVID-19 in jail.”
Smalley was the 26th prisoner in Wakefield to die since March 2019.
Two were self-inflicted and the others for natural reasons, the report says.
Anyone with information or wishing to report a sexual crime should call 101, where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers, or you can pass on information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Support for victims is also available through the registered charity the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Center Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Abuse Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 5158 in an emergency. , always call 999.
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