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Networking millionaire guilty of kidnap and rape

Micromuse founder pays from the grave

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The High Court ruled yesterday that the estate of Chris Dawes, the founder of networking company Micromuse, should pay damages to a woman he attacked before his death in 1999.

The Court awarded Amanda Lawson £259,000 for the three day incident in 1998. Lawson sued Dawes's estate for pyschological damage she suffered and her inability to continue her business. The judge said there was overwhelming evidence she had been attacked.

Dawes took Lawson to Alderney claiming he wanted to discuss setting up a model agency. He kept her there for three days forcing her to smoke crack cocaine and repeatedly assaulting her.

Dawes denied the rape charge and died three months later after crashing his McLaren sports car.

Lawson told the BBC: "I hope that my actions give other rape victims the courage to stand up to their attackers, no matter who they are or how long it takes." She was also granted an interim payment of £200,000 in costs.

Dawes founded Micromuse - a network management company in 1989. IBM agreed to buy the company in 2005 for $865m.

He was famous for dressing in black and his extravagant collection of cars, boats, and helicopters. Before his death he became increasingly paranoid claiming several people were out to kill him. He died after crashing his car into a tree at high speed. ®

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