Taxi driver jailed for sex attacks
A ST IVES taxi driver who preyed on vulnerable women and sexually assaulted them in his car has been jailed for four years.
Truro Crown Court heard Nigel Holland, aged 51, of Trelawney Avenue, St Ives, was "a predator" who carried out one of his attacks on the night before his own wedding.
On Friday Holland began a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to sex attacks on three women – the most serious of which lasted one and a half hours.
However, police are still appealing for other victims to come forward in the belief that Holland, well known in the town, may have struck before.
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Detective Constable Alex Pym said: "He was a predator preying on women who had some form of upset in their life. One lady had just come out of a nasty domestic split with her partner; another had recently been bereaved.
"That was his modus operandi.
Holland was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life. On his release from prison he will begin an extended licence period of seven years.
Judge David Ticehurst told Holland: "You have shown neither remorse nor understanding of the seriousness of your offending, and as such pose a danger to other women."
Martin Pearce, for the defence, told the court Holland was of previous good character and was well thought of by people in St Ives.
Speaking after the hearing, DC Pym said: "From my experience he was a very charming, charismatic man who had clearly kept his real nature from the people around him."
Holland used his position as a taxi driver to gain his victims' trust, said DC Pym.
"He worked the rank next to the cinema in St Ives.
"Those taxi drivers are there from 8am to 2am; they work very hard, and they become well-known faces in that community.
"What he was doing was befriending people and over a period of time gaining their trust, sometimes not taking money when he dropped them off in his taxi, and saying it was because they were friends."
Then he attacked them.
His latest victim was subjected to a 90-minute ordeal.
When she reported it to police, investigations in the town led them to two more victims.
DC Pym said he expected more would now come forward. "We've had reports of other situations in his taxi – things he shouldn't have done.
"At his age, to be convicted of these offences, I'd be surprised if there weren't other victims.
"If other people come forward, separate reports would be treated as new matters and we would press for convictions on those as well."
DC Pym is urging anyone with any information to contact him on 01736 356253 or to call the Independent Sexual Violence Advisors service on 0845 8121212.
"It's important that we take these reports seriously," he said.
"Taking one complaint seriously here led to two other victims coming forward who we would not have known about.
"I'm very pleased to see Mr Holland convicted and very pleased on behalf of the victims, and I'd urge anybody else who was a victim to speak to us about it."