Karen Danczuk tells court of torment after being raped by brother

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Weeping Karen Danczuk told a court of her secret torment and "horrendous life" after being raped by her brother.

She told a jury she was regularly molested in the family home between the ages of six or seven until she was 15 or 16 by Michael Burke, who is five years older than her.

Mrs Danczuk, 33, the estranged wife of Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, told the jury at Manchester Crown Court, which convicted her brother of a series of sex attacks: "Most people remember their first time having sex with somebody they love.

"Whereas my first time of having sex was with my brother. It's horrible. Even now I can't sleep naked. I can't even cuddle in bed.

"I will never love properly, I will never be able to let someone in. It's horrible."

Her sexual abuse can be reported for the first time after Mrs Danczuk waived her right to anonymity by speaking publicly after her brother's conviction.

Burke, 38, a "controlling and violent" man, denied 15 counts of rape, one attempted rape and one indecent assault against his sister and two other women, spanning an 18-year period from 1992 to 2010.

But, following a three-week trial on Wednesday, the jury found him guilty of eight counts of rape and another serious sexual offence against three different women, including three counts of rape against his sister between 1992-1994.

He was cleared of nine other serious sexual offences.

Karen Danczuk initially revealed publicly she had been abused, without naming her attacker, in an interview in The Sun in February last year.

Two other victims came forward shortly afterwards. Neither can be named.

During the trial Mrs Danczuk gave evidence from behind a curtain around the witness box, shielding her from the dock where her tormentor sat, often shaking his head in denial.

The mother of two boys aged six and eight, told of her unconventional and unhappy childhood, growing up in a terraced house in Middleton, near Rochdale.

One of five children, her mother Sue moved in her boyfriend while her father still lived at the house but had split from his wife.

Mrs Danczuk said she was a "quiet" child who was "heavily bullied".

She wept and covered her face in the filmed police interview, played to the jury, telling the officer: "I just had flashbacks of the first time.

"I kept telling myself, don't cry, don't give him any more tears.

"It started out like it was a game, it was not so much an attack, it was, like, innocent.

"It was a game of hide and seek, think I was about six or seven. He would always take me into his bed. He would lie next to me, we would be under the bed covers for ages. The first time he was literally on top of me naked.

"It was a slow process. That kind of went on for some time, the hide under the bed covers stuff carried on. It still haunts me now."

She said the abuse progressed to rape, aged 11, on a weekly basis, usually on a Sunday evening which was "bath night" and continued until she was 16, she said.

One day she was doing the dishes at home and Michael was drying. She told him: "Stop it. Stop touching me."

By then it had "ruined" her schooling, with her leaving education with "crap" qualifications, she said.

The first person she told was a clinical psychologist at Nye Bevan House in Rochdale in 2009 after she felt suicidal and depressed.

Although the physical abuse was over, the mental torment continued although Mrs Danczuk said she was "much better" following therapy.

"I can't trust anyone like, even my husband," she said. "I don't let anyone in, I just can't give 100 per cent."

She added: "My anxiety, I have suffered with depression and anxiety through the majority of my adult life.

"I can't love anyone. It sounds terrible. I'm just waiting every single time for someone to hurt me. It's just been horrible."

She was cross-examined over two days by Nigel Power QC, defending her brother, who queried why she went first to the papers before the police, asked if money was her motivation and accused her of "attention seeking".

She said: "To this day I have grown up and fought my whole life to change my childhood. I decided I would come forward, that was my choice.

"Before I ever became famous I was seeking help, before I ever knew I would end up in the public eye.

"This idea that it is just attention, this has ruined my life. I have had a horrendous life, it's a fact. This is why I have had help from doctors because it's a fact. Days when you have, being dead makes more sense than being alive.

"I think I finally felt ready to face it, I'm ready to see this through, he can't get away with what he did.

"My life has been hell for what he's done, I don't want anything, I want closure."

Burke will be sentenced on December 15.