Rapist jailed for 10 years

Rapist baker Lee Dickinson
Rapist baker Lee Dickinson

A BULLYING bakery boss has been caged for 10 years for repeatedly raping a woman employee.

Lee Dickinson was told by a judge that he had chosen the timid mum as she was vulnerable and needed to keep her job.

After molesting her at a Christmas party he again repeated his actions several months later.

She was so shocked she felt unable to tell anyone except her sister and her best friend, who was an employee, and kept going to work - desperate for her wages - but only when the colleague was also present.

But two months later she found herself alone with him at closing time and despite one of her children waiting for her downstairs Dickinson (right) raped her.

He had claimed he wanted to talk about holiday rotas but “the real reason you called her in was because your lust was up and she was the person you had chosen to satisfy your lust,” said Judge Denis Watson, QC.

She was “so utterly degraded” that it took her six days before she had the courage to complain. Jailing 43-year-old Dickinson, who owns and runs the four-shop chain of Dawsons Bakers in Tyldesley, Judge Watson said that the working conditions his victim had endured “were nothing short of horrendous.

“The atmosphere at work, which you encouraged or tolerated or at times participated in, was appalling.” Employees were verbally abused with offensive names he said.

The father-of-five also found it amusing to twice drive his van fast at the victim, skidding to a halt and on one occasion frisked her and embarrassed her by making her pull personal items out of her pinny.

Dickinson, of Sandy Lane, Astley, believed his conduct was just “banter” but the judge told him, “This was nothing short of bullying and humiliation.”

He denied any sexual misbehaviour but was convicted by a jury of two offences of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault. The judge ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and imposed a restraining order keeping him away from the victim and two women colleagues who gave evidence against him.

Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, said: “It appears he considered this behaviour to be amusing. One one occasion he rugby tackled her, taking her outside to the back of the bakery and dropping her into the top of one of the big bins.”

The first sexual incident occurred during the work’s Christmas party in a bar in Tyldesley and while drunk Dickinson tried to kiss her and molested her.

The following July while in the female changing room fixing the boiler Dickinson ordered her to perform a sex act on him and when she protested he said: ‘This is your job.”

A few days later she broke down and told her sister and a colleague what had happened.

Dickinson, who has no previous convictions, denied wrong doing and maintained his innocence during the trial.

His barrister, Katherine Pierpoint, said that Dickinson’s wife was standing by him but had been too upset to attend court. One of his sons is in the Army and the next two oldest are waiting to join up.

“The incidents were horrific but relatively short lived,” she said.