Crime & PolicingNEWS

25 years in prison for retired bus driver who sexually abused children over three decades

A retired bus driver who systematically preyed on children, sexually abusing them over the course of 30 years was yesterday (Monday 6th February) sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with a minimum term of 16 years.

John Foster, aged 78 of Wawne, was charged with offences including rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, gross indecency with or towards a child, between 1973 and 2002.

Appearing at Hull Crown Court having entered a not guilty plea to all 28 offences, he was found guilty of 27 offences by a jury following an eight day trial which concluded on Wednesday 1st February.

Whilst working as a bus driver between July 1973 and February 2002, Foster, who used to live in Burton Agnes, befriended his victims for a prolonged period, allowing them to travel on the bus for free.

Building up their trust, he then began taking them on trips out, including train spotting and football matches where he would proceed to touch and abuse them, with some trips taking place over night.

As the abuse continued, as way of payment, Foster would then allow them to steer the wheel of his car, as well as buying them cigarettes and alcohol. On one occasion, Foster gave one of his victims a gas aerosol to inhale as a form of recreational high.

Detective Superintendent Phil Gadd said: “Firstly, I’d like to start by acknowledging the sheer courage these victims had in reporting his unforgiveable crimes to us so we could investigate and seek justice.

“The bravery that they have gone on to show throughout the investigation and court proceedings is a real testament to their strength.

“Foster’s lifetime offending spanned over more than 40 years, and he is without doubt a serious sexual predator who put his victims through untold distress and suffering for his own perverse needs. Forcing his victims to endure the harrowing ordeal of a trial, reliving what he did to them by maintaining his not guilty plea.

“Whilst today’s sentencing may not take away the pain his victims have had to carry throughout their lives, I hope it will bring them some comfort in knowing this sexual offender cannot inflict pain or suffering on anybody else.

“I hope that today’s outcome provides the public some reassurance in knowing that we take all reports of these offences incredibly seriously whether they are recent or non-recent offences, and would encourage any victim to come forward, when they are ready, so we can continue to take action against the perpetrators.

“We work in partnership with the local authority and a number of local charities and agencies to ensure victims of this type of crime are offered advice and support whether they decide to pursue their cases through the justice system or not.

“If you have been the victim of a sexual offence or rape, there are various ways you can report it to the police. You can speak to independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, or you can report directly through our 101 number, or 999 in an emergency or reports in confidence online:”

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