A school bus driver who groomed and raped a teenage girl has been put behind bars.
Derby Crown Court heard on Friday, March 9, how Daniel Redfern, 38, of Church Walk, Chesterfield, drove to secluded spots and a lay-by in Derbyshire where he sexually assaulted the teenager for over a year.
On one occasion he drove her to a quiet road in March, 2016, at around 8pm, according to the court, parked up and told her he wanted to hug her but he raped her on the bus.
Redfern also engaged in sex with a second school girl, who was aged 15 at the time and is now an adult, and this was deemed consensual and took place in his car and home, the court heard.
The defendant denied the charges against him but was found guilty after a trial of one count of rape and four of sexual activity with a child and he was jailed for 16 years.
Judge Robert Egbuna told Redfern: “You preyed on these young girls with their vulnerabilities. When the first one withdrew from your clutches you moved on to the second one.”
The court heard how Redfern worked for a Sheffield-based travel company which was contracted to take children to and from a school in Derbyshire.
In 2016, the complainant triggered an investigation after she complained to a learning mentor at her school how Redfern had been forcing her “to do stuff with him” for more than a year.
The first teenage victim, who was aged under 16 at the time of the rape, stated: “This incident has affected me emotionally and has led me to being not able to sleep sometimes because it has been on my mind.
“It has affected my eating and led me to have increased anxiety.”
And the second victim stated: “I did not know what was right or wrong when I was 15.”
Jess Strange, mitigating for Redfern, said the defendant maintains the allegations against him are lies and he denies them.
Judge Egbuna also placed Redfern under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Detective Constable Maria Neads commended the bravery of the victims and those who supported them.