Scarborough paedophile dies in jail before being sentenced for historic child sex offences

A man who sexually abused two boys in Scarborough 40 years ago has died in prison before he could be sentenced.

By George Buksmann
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 4:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 4:59 pm

Anthony Dhiren Pulami, 76, was arrested following a five-year police investigation which spanned two continents.

One of the boys, now an adult, said he had considered suicide as a result of the abuse he had suffered, in a statement issued by North Yorkshire Police.

The boy, who was abused between 1976 and 1978, said: "44 years of bad thoughts in your head takes its toll day in and day out, you don't forget."

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Anthony Dhiren Pulami, 76, died in jail before he could be sentenced for his crimes.

The second boy, now an adult, who was abused between 1979 and 1985 said in his statement: "I am hoping that with this sentencing, I will be able to move on from the 'dirty little secret' that I've been carrying for so many decades and try to reclaim some of my life.

"I'll never be able to forget what has happened. I can only try to cope with its effects."

"I want my life back," he added.

Pulami, who at the time was known as Tony Earnshaw, used his involvement with motorbikes to gain the trust of the two boys. He gave them gifts and took them out days out as part of his grooming process, before sexually abusing them.

It was not until the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 that both victims, separately, reported their experiences to North Yorkshire Police.

Both boys kept the trauma of their abuse secret through to adulthood.

Pulami, who had been living in Nepal and India, pleaded guilty to four offences at a hearing in January and was due to be sentenced at York Crown Court on Monday May 30.

The charges included two counts of indecent assault on one of the boys between 1976 and 1978 and an unconnected series of offences against the other boy between 1979 and 1985 involving buggery and indecent assault.

However, the 76-year-old died of ill health on April 28 while on remand in Hull Prison. The hearing went ahead at York Crown Court where the case was formally concluded.

The cases were taken on by Detective Constable Catherine Peet, of Scarborough and Ryedale CID, which was the start of what became a five-year inquiry to bring Pulami to justice.

DC Peet said: "At the time when the victims made their reports to the police, the suspect was living abroad in Nepal and then moved to India.

"Over these years, this case has required ongoing work with our Force Intelligence Bureau, the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service's Extradition Unit to progress the return of the offender.

"Following enquiries by the Indian authorities, Pulami was arrested in connection with these offences when he came back to the UK in September 2021."

DC Peet added: "Neither of the victims had been able to share their traumatic experiences until the start of the police investigation many years later.

"Pulami's crimes have deeply affected them throughout their life.

"Despite the death of Pulami in prison before he was sentenced, I really hope the outcome of the investigation gives them strength and hope for the future.

"It is also a reminder that it is never too late to make a report about child abuse and to receive the professional support and care that is readily available to victims."