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Rotherham child sex abuse: more arrests made

By Caroline Chandler

Published In: Child Abuse - Grooming Gangs

Five more arrests have been made by South Yorkshire Police as part of an ongoing investigation into historic child sexual abuse in Rotherham.



Romulad Stefan Houphoet, Absolom Sigiyo and Jacek Brozozwski, were charged in relation to offences said to have taken place between 2011-2012. The charges involve two victims, who were between 13 and 15 years old and residing in a children’s home at the time.

Houphoet (36) has been charged with four counts of rape; Sigiyo (39) has been charged with rape, attempted rape and witness intimidation, and Brozozwski (33) has been charged with engaging in sexual activity, as well as inciting sexual activity with a girl, aged between 13 and 15.

All three appeared before Sheffield Magistrates on Monday 09 January, where they were released on bail. They are due to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 06 February.

Two further men have also been charged with an array of offences

Neil Cawton (67) was charged with committing nine offences against four schoolgirls between 2006 and 2012, and David Saynor (75) was charged with 20 offences including four counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault. These charges relate to ten victims and the offences are all alleged to have been committed between 2007-2015.

Cawton and Saynor both appeared before Sheffield Magistrates on the 25January where they were released on bail. Both men are due to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 22February.

These arrests were made in relation to Operation Stovewood a National Crime Agency (NCA) inquiry, into historic child sex abuse in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013. It is the single largest law enforcement investigation into non-familial child sexual exploitation and abuse in the UK.

Operation Stovewood

Evidence of child abuse in Rotherham was first noted in the early 1990s. By 1997 Rotherham Council had started the ‘Risky Business’ Project, to work with those thought to be at risk of exploitation, but the project closed down in 2011.  

A series of articles in The Times from January 2011 onwards, noted that the abuse within Rotherham was widespread and that the police and council had known about the abuse for over 10 years. This prompted the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee to conduct hearings, ultimately leading to Rotherham Council commissioning an independent inquiry, led by Professor Alexis Jay.

The Jay report concluded that an estimated 1,400 children had been sexually abused in Rotherham between 1997-2013. Given the failings of South Yorkshire Police in investigating the exploitation of young women since the early 1990’s, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police asked the NCA to lead an independent investigation into the historic abuse, this investigation was the start Operation Stovewood which began in 2014. 

The NCA have recently launched a new appeal for potential victims to come forward as part of Operation Stovewood. Operation Stovewood has already seen more than 1,367 crimes recorded, identified 1,080 survivors and has arrested over 200 suspects, of which 20 have been convicted so far. Those convicted have a total jail time of over 250 years.

At Switalskis we have a specialist department to represent victims of historic sexual abuse. If you have suffered abuse such as this, please come forward. You can chat to us confidentially and for free, to see if we can help you make a claim. Call 0800 138 4700 or email

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Caroline has worked in the legal sector for 23 years. She is a Solicitor in our Child Abuse Compensation department.

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