Predator used Hummer limousine to groom and rape teenage girls

David Saynor
-Credit: (Image: National Crime Agency)

A “manipulative predator” has been found guilty of using his limousine company to groom and sexually abuse teenage girls in Rotherham.

David Saynor, 76, who lived in Rotherham at the time, carried out a string of offences against girls in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Sheffield Crown Court heard how he would take his victims out for rides in his vehicles, ply them with alcohol, encourage them to undress or dance for him, and then in some cases rape or sexually assault them.

His victims were between the ages of 12 and 18 when the offences happened. They were sometimes collected from their school or care homes in his stretched Hummer, taken to or from teenage discos in South Yorkshire, or just for rides around the area.

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Girls would be given money for cigarettes, food or occasionally drugs. Saynor actively encouraged them to call him if they needed picking up from somewhere, and often told them to bring friends.

On one occasion he picked up one of his victims, who was aged only 12 or 13 at the time, and took them back to the yard where he stored his limousines. He went on to rape her in an office building there.

One victim was abused repeatedly over a period of two years when she was 14 and 15 years old. She recalled being picked up in her school uniform with groups of other girls, given alcohol, cigarettes and money. On one occasion, when she was on her own, he raped her in the back of the limousine. Afterwards, he threatened to hurt her family if she told anyone.

David Saynor plied his teenage victims with alcohol after taking them for rides in his stretch Hummer limo -Credit:National Crime Agency
David Saynor plied his teenage victims with alcohol after taking them for rides in his stretch Hummer limo -Credit:National Crime Agency

Another victim, who was 16 years old and in care at the time, was initially given a job by Saynor handing out leaflets for his company. On one occasion she was driven to an area of Sheffield she didn't know and told to perform a sexual act on him or be left there, miles from home and with no means of getting back.

Saynor was arrested by the NCA in 2020 after numerous victims identified him. Following a five week trial at Sheffield Crown Court he was found guilty of 15 charges relating to eight victims. He will be sentenced on August 15.

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 today's convictions demonstrate our determination to get justice for them, even after so many years."

The conviction of David Saynor means 34 people have now been convicted of offences following investigations by the NCA's Operation Stovewood, which is looking at allegations of abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

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It remains the single largest investigation of its kind in the UK, with more than 1,150 potential victims identified. Another 50 investigations are ongoing as part of Stovewood. The NCA's Stuart Cobb 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."

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."