Serial rapist who abused seven teenage girls and women over 25 years and was accused by the judge of making sex crimes ‘his life’s work’ dies aged 70 after catching Covid in jail
- Dennis Smalley, from Hindley in Wigan, died aged 70 on March 16 at HMP Wakefield
- An official report says the serial rapist’s cause of death was Covid pneumonia
- Smalley’a depraved campaign of abuse began in the 1970s and lasted 45 years
- He was jailed for 25 years at Liverpool Crown Court in 2016 for 44 charges
A serial rapist who abused seven teenage girls and women over 25 years and was accused by a judge of making sex crimes ‘his life’s work’ died aged 70 after catching Covid in jail.
Dennis Smalley raped seven teenage girls and women, and sexually abused four other girls, in a campaign lasting 45 years.
Smalley, from Hindley in Wigan, had attacked one woman shortly after she had a baby.
One woman was raped, sexually abused and attacked by him for more than a decade, and many of his victims were young teenagers.
The victims, some who were abused after being groomed, were left ‘psychologically scarred’ by the ordeals they suffered at his hands.
Smalley was sentenced to 25 years in HMP Wakefield at Liverpool Crown Court on March 2016, at the age of 65, for a catalogue of depraved crimes.
He was found guilty by a jury of 44 charges- 25 rapes, 16 counts of either indecent assault or indecency with a child, two serious sexual offences and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Dennis Smalley (pictured) raped seven teenage girls and women, and sexually abused four other girls, in a campaign lasting 45 years
His death was confirmed in an official report published on Monday by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, which carries on independent investigations into complaints and deaths in custody.
The report says Smalley died in hospital of Covid pneumonia on March 16 while a prisoner at high-security HMP Wakefield.
It also says Smalley had not left Wakefield, which is nicknamed ‘Monster Mansion’- in the weeks before he became ill and ‘it appears, therefore, that he caught Covid-19 in prison.’
Investigators were satisfied that the prison had ‘appropriate policies and procedures in place and had taken reasonable steps to manage the risk to prisoners, including Smalley, of being infected.’
The investigation into the former military bandsman was led by a senior detective who said he left a ‘trail of destruction’ through the lives of his 11 victims.
Smalley’s death was confirmed in an official report published on Monday by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. It said he died at high security HMP Wakefield prison (pictured) of Covid pneumonia on March 16
After his sentencing hearing in 2016, Detective Constable Claire Hughes said: ‘I have had the displeasure of dealing with some truly repugnant individuals during my time with Greater Manchester Police, but Dennis Smalley is without doubt one of the worst I have ever encountered.
‘He is a man seemingly incapable of inflicting anything other than misery upon the unfortunate women and girls he encountered during his life.
‘The trail of destruction this man wreaked through the lives of so many young girls and women is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to repair.
‘But I hope that in some way they can take some solace from the fact that this monster is now behind bars for the rest of his life.’
Smalley had first followed advice from staff at the prison to shield because of coronavirus in 2020.
He was given his first jab on February 25 this year but tested positive on March 2.
Smalley was sentenced to 25 years in HMP Wakefield at Liverpool Crown Court (pictured) on March 2016, at the age of 65, for a catalogue of depraved crimes
His condition deteriorated and he was taken to hospital on March 11, where he died five days later.
The report says: ‘The clinical reviewer concluded that Mr Smalley’s clinical care at Wakefield was of a good standard and equivalent to that which he could have expected in the community.
‘We found no non-clinical issues of concern.
‘Mr Smalley had not left Wakefield in the weeks before he became ill and it appears, therefore, that he caught COVID-19 in prison.’
Smalley was the 26th prisoner at Wakefield to die since March, 2019.
Two were self-inflicted and the others from natural causes, according to the report.
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