Saxon's Stephen Dawson jailed for historic sexual abuse after assaulting six-year-old girl

He was jailed for the historic abuseHe was jailed for the historic abuse
He was jailed for the historic abuse -Credit:EAST KILBRIDE NEWS

A founding member of the 1970s heavy metal band Saxon has been jailed for child sexual abuse - after he was found guilty of assaulting a six-year-old girl.

Stephen Dawson, 72, was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday (April 11) after he was convicted of four counts of indecent assault of a child under 14.

The abuse took place in the early 1990s, several years after bassist Dawson helped to establish the legendary band from Barnsley, South Yorks, in 1976.

During his time with the group, he helped write hits including '747 Strangers in the Night' and 'Freeway Mad', appearing on the 1980 platinum record, 'Wheels of Steel'.

Dawson was also thought to be the inspiration behind the fictional character Derek Smalls, played by Harry Shearer in the film This Is Spinal Tap, released in 1984.

He remained with the group until 1986, when he was reportedly fired due to arguments with his fellow musicians. Dawson, from Rotherham, was originally found guilty on March 21 before being given his custodial sentence this week.

Following the verdict, Detective Constable Robert Heath, from South Yorkshire Police, said his victim had demonstrated "extraordinary strength".

He said: "Stephen Dawson thought he had got away with committing these horrific crimes against a young, vulnerable victim 30 years ago.

"She has shown extraordinary strength through coming forward and throughout the course of the investigation, resulting in Dawson spending a number of years in prison.

"It is clear that his evil acts have remained with her throughout her life, and I hope this sentence goes some way to allowing her to move on from these traumatic events.

"The result of this case demonstrates just how seriously we take these offences. We hope this provides some encouragement that if you have been subjected to any offence, no matter how long ago it happened, to come forward and report it to us.

"We are here to listen, investigate and bring the perpetrators before courts."

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