Crown Prosecution Service
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Operation Stovewood: Rotherham limousine driver guilty of sexually abusing young girls

A former limousine driver who systematically groomed and abused young girls in the Rotherham area over a decade, has yesterday been convicted of child sex abuse offences.

The CPS prosecuted David Saynor, as part of Operation Stovewood, a major investigation into non-familial child sexual abuse and exploitation which took place in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, between 1997 and 2013.

Following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court, Saynor, 76, was found guilty of committing a string of sexual offences committed between September 2005 and June 2015 against eight girls, who were aged between 12 to 17 years old at the time.

Saynor was the owner of a limousine company in Rotherham. He would pick several of the victims up in his vehicles from their schools or the children’s homes where they lived and others he took to young teen events such as birthday parties or disco events for young people.

Initially, he would offer many of the girls free rides and invite them to do ‘promotional work’ for his business. He then plied the girls with money, cigarettes, drugs and free alcohol before raping or assaulting them.

He would often encourage them to get very drunk before attacking them. If they ran out of alcohol, he would get them more.

In one case, Saynor told a child victim he raped that he knew where her family lived and said that if she told anyone about the abuse, he would hurt them. 

The victims were able to give their best evidence for this case using special measures. This allowed them to have their cross-examination video-recorded before the full trial, away from the court room and the defendant.

Sam Thompson, Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS, said: “The way David Saynor groomed, threatened and coerced young girls in the community for his own depraved sexual desires, was both cruel and manipulative.

“Child sexual abuse can cause lifelong physical and emotional trauma. We are thankful the victims in this case who came forward to tell the court what happened to them at the hands of Saynor. It is because of their evidence that we were able to build a strong case and help bring this sex offender to justice.

“I hope this conviction sends a clear message that the CPS, working alongside law enforcement, will relentlessly pursue justice and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, whenever that abuse takes place.

“I would like encourage any victims of child sexual abuse or violence to report the crimes committed against them to the police, no matter how much time has passed.”

To deal with some of the more complex and challenging child sexual abuse cases, the CPS established its dedicated Organised Child Sexual Abuse Unit to share specialist understanding, build strong cases and increase the amount of successful prosecutions.

Saynor is the 34th person to be convicted of child sex abuse offences under Operation Stovewood.

He is to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on 15 August 2024.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer Stuart Cobb said: “Saynor used his limousine company as a front for his grooming of teenage girls, gaining their trust and then abusing them.

“He was a manipulative predator who purposefully sought out those who were vulnerable or from troubled backgrounds, giving them gifts of money or alcohol to gain their trust.

“But this would often turn to intimidation and threats when girls went against his wishes.

“It took great courage from the victims in this case to come forward and tell their stories, and I pay tribute to them for doing so. I hope yesterday’s convictions demonstrate our determination to get justice for them, even after so many years.”

He added: “I would like to recognise the assistance provided by partners including the CPS, South Yorkshire Police, RMBC, NHS Trauma Resilience and Independent Sexual Violence Adviser network throughout this investigation.

“Their continued support for the victims in this case has been instrumental in ensuring each individual involved has been able to continue with the judicial process, and this support will continue beyond this verdict.” 


 

Notes to editors

  • Sam Thompson is a Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS’ Organised Child Sexual Abuse Unit which is part of the Serious Economic, Organised Crime and International Directorate (SEOCID).
  • David Saynor [DOB: 10/08/47] was found guilty on 9 July 2024 following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court of the following charges:
    • Two counts of rape
    • Two counts of paying for sexual services of a child
    • Five counts of meeting a child following sexual grooming
    • Three counts of assault by penetration
    •  Two counts of sexual activity with a child
    •  One count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child
Channel website: https://www.cps.gov.uk/

Original article link: https://www.cps.gov.uk/cps/news/operation-stovewood-rotherham-limousine-driver-guilty-sexually-abusing-young-girls

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