Sex charges after body is exhumed

A SANDFORD businessman has denied committing sex offences against children, after his sister’s body was exhumed from a graveyard.

Maurice William Dance appeared in court alongside his brother Colin after the remains of their sister, who committed suicide in 1989, were dug up last month.

Belinda ‘Binny’ Day was 27 when she threw herself off cliffs in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, but police exhumed her body on April 12 to conduct DNA analysis.

The 57-year-old denied all six of the charges he was accused of when appearing at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on Friday. Colin Dance pleaded not guilty to six offences against children under 16.

Maurice Dance, a director at D&M Haulage in Greenhill Road, Sandford, and currently listed as living in Queens Road, Budleigh Salterton, was arrested last Wednesday by police as part of Operation Goodrich, an investigation into historical sex cases.

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As part of the investigation, Binny Day’s body was exhumed as officers investigated allegations that she had been sexually abused for much of her adult life, with detectives saying the exhumation could provide key evidence in bringing the offenders to justice.

He stands accused of two charges of committing gross indecency with a child under the age of 14, between 1987 and 1989, as well as two charges of indecent assault on a child under the age of 16 from the same period.

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He has also denied two older charges of indecently assaulting a child under the age of 16 between 1971 and 1972.

He was released on bail on the strict conditions that he reside at a Bristol address given to the court, and stick to a curfew preventing him from leaving the house between 8pm and 6am, while he must also report on a weekly basis to Nailsea Police Station.

His older brother, aged 59, of Roseway, Littleham, has been accused of six offences of committing gross indecency with a child under the age of 16, between February 12 1974 and February 11 1980.

As part of the bail conditions, Maurice Dance has been banned from entering Devon, and having unsupervised contact with children, and was ordered to surrender his passport to the police.

Another brother, Tommy Dance, of Queens Road, Budleigh, was jailed in August 2010 for 21-and-a-half years after admitting committing a catalogue of sex crimes against underage girls.

The pair will now appear again at the court on June 18, when the case is expected to be committed to Exeter Crown Court.

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