A PAEDOPHILE who sexually abused girls as young as seven has been jailed for 12 years at Plymouth Crown Court.
David Haywood, aged 61 and of Savage Road, Barne Barton, was recently convicted of one count of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault and one of sexual activity with a child
At the end of the nine-day trial, the jury acquitted him of rape and sexual assault of one of the alleged victims, and were unable to reach a majority verdict on a different rape count.
Yesterday, the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence on the second rape charge, and Haywood was formally acquitted by Judge Francis Gilbert QC.
Ali Rafati, for Haywood, said his client had behaved appallingly in the 1990s, but had ceased offending until after the death of his wife.
He started using amphetamine and abused girls to whom he had access, he said.
Haywood, dressed in a dark blue open-neck shirt and cricket sweater, showed no emotion as he was sentenced.
Judge Gilbert said that in the 1990s, Haywood had indecently assaulted a girl he was babysitting.
He went on to molest teenage girls until his arrest in 2009.
Judge Gilbert told Haywood: “These were serious offences.”
He jailed Haywood for a total of 12 years, less 14 days spent on remand since his trial, ordered him to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order indefinitely.
During the trial, Haywood denied that he was sexually attracted to young girls.
But under cross-examination he admitted that he met his current girlfriend when she was around 18 or 19 years old and he was in his late 50s, and that he was “attracted to young women” and “enjoyed having them around”.
Outside the court, the police officer in the case, Det Con Nicky Barrett said: “I am delighted for the victims in this case, who will be pleased with the sentences.
“It should help them to cope.
“The victims found it immensely hard to come forward, but without them there would never have been a case.
“Haywood would have been able to continue offending untouched, causing further harm to innocent young women and girls.”