David Hart, 60, was found guilty of subjecting a young girl to a 14-year campaign of abuse
A paedophile is on the run from hospital after being found guilty of subjecting a girl to a 14-year campaign of abuse that saw her forced to have sex with a dog.
David Hart, 60, had attended his trial at Swansea Crown Court which began last week after he was charged with 16 offences including 12 counts of rape.
But he failed to turn up to court on the day the jury were due to be sent out after he had been admitted to Morriston Hospital in the city that morning.
Now, the taxi driver has gone on the run following his conviction and South Wales Police detectives are trying to find him.
The girl, who was just 11 or 12 years old when the abuse began, said that it was broadcast live in internet chatrooms.
She gave traumatic interviews to police in which she said she blamed herself for being ‘too afraid’ to stop him.
In the interviews, which were summarised in court by Judge Geraint Walters, she described what he called ‘some of the gravest sexual offences’.
Hart failed to turn up to court on the day the jury were due to be sent out after he had been admitted to Morriston Hospital in Swansea (pictured) that morning
Judge Walters told how she said the paedophile first took her virginity by raping her against a wall. The abuse also happened on camera with other people watching.
Initially, it was said to have taken place on a one-to-one basis, but later he moved to an internet chat room where ‘a few hundred people would watch’.
She told a police officer: ‘I blame myself. I never did enough to stop him. I had opportunities to stop him but I was too afraid. I hate myself.
‘I feel disgusted I let him do these things. I dream of it. Every single night I go through that.’ She also said that she believed she may have been drugged.
Hart denied 16 charges alleged to have taken place between 2001 and 2015, including 12 charges of rape, two charges of indecent assault, one of assault by penetration and one of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
But he was found guilty on all counts by a jury, with a majority verdict of 11 to one on each. Hart has not yet been sentenced.
Judge Walters had told the jury that Hart was a man of previous good character, and had denied allegations he had asked a former partner to engage in sex acts with a friend’s doberman dog.
He also said that under cross-examination he had claimed to be physically unable to have sex at the time the allegations took place.
The paedophile is on the run from Morrison Hospital in Swansea after being found guilty
Judge Walters also told the jury of character references to the court, in which Hart had been described by friends as ‘a polite man, very happy to help’. One said: ‘I’ve never heard him raise his voice, even to his dog.’
After he went on the run, a police spokesman said: ‘A warrant for David Hart’s arrest was issued by Swansea Crown Court shortly before 4.30pm yesterday.
‘The matter was immediately treated as a top priority for South Wales Police and extensive enquiries to trace and arrest him continue.
‘Hart, 60, is from the Morriston area of Swansea. He is described as being 5ft 8in tall and is now clean shaved with a short, cropped haircut.
‘Hart is urged to hand himself in to the nearest police station as a matter of urgency.’
Police said anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting reference 1700375589.
An NSPCC spokesman warned it is ‘absolutely vital’ that Hart is caught.
The spokesman said: ‘Hart committed sickening and gravely serious offences against his victim – many of which were inflicted on her when she was a child.
‘It is now absolutely vital that Hart is caught and brought back before the courts to face the full consequences of his abuse.
‘Abuse ruins childhoods and his actions have clearly had a significant effect on his victim into adulthood.
‘We hope she is now receiving full support to recover as well as satisfaction from knowing her evidence in court helped secure Hart’s conviction.’