A SURVIVOR of child sexual exploitation said she was “disgusted” to learn that her abuser had been moved to an open prison less than three years into a nine-year sentence and was allowed home to see his family.
The woman (32) was sexually abused as a teenager by taxi driver Darren Hyett, who was convicted in September 2018, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Hyett has been moved to a category D open prison just two-and-a-half years into his sentence ,which means he could have supervised trips out of prison, including going home to visit his family.
The woman said if she had known her abuser would be in an open prison by now she would not have put herself through the two-week trial that got him convicted.
Hyett, formerly of Broom Chase, Rotherham, sexually abused the woman between 2004 and 2007 when she was living at St Edmund’s Care Home, Thurcroft, as a teenager and he was working for A1 Taxis.
He preyed on his victim, who was 15 when the abuse began, by buying her gifts, cigarettes and drugs.
The woman said that Hyett had used and exploited her vulnerability and her childhood situation and he had destroyed part of her that she would never get back.
The probation service contacted her earlier this month (April) by email and phone to tell her Hyett had been moved to an open prison in February.
“I find that disgusting,” she said.
“To be put in an open prison, you have to be a non-violent offender and not been done for drugs offences.
“But it was proved in court that he plied me with drugs, physically abused me and sexually abused me.
“This means he can apply for leave and he can leave prison and visit home or visit family.”
The woman said the investigation into Hyett had begun in 2015 under Operation Stovewood, the NCA’s inquiry into child sexual abuse in Rotherham, but it was 2018 by the time it got to trial.
“It took me longer to get to a trial than he did in a proper prison,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have put myself through all of that if I had known he would be in an open prison by now.”
The woman said she feared Hyett’s treatment could put other CSE victims off from coming forward.
“I grew up in the care system and I’m acquaintances with a lot of girls who were groomed and abused \_ some far worse than I was,” she said.
“It takes a massive amount of stress and a massive mix of emotions to go through and take it to a trial.
“I don’t doubt for a second that if a lot of these girls knew that these offenders had been afforded the luxury of a category D prison, they would say: ‘We are not going through this.’”
The woman said she had told the NCA about Hyett and they wanted answers about how his move to an open prison had been allowed to happen.
“He took my entire teenage years away from me,” she said.
“I will carry what he did to me for longer than nine years.”
The Ministry of Justice did not respond to the Advertiser’s request for a comment.