August 2016

Businesswoman employed convicted paedophile to drive school buses despite knowing of his past


A BUSINESSWOMAN who employed a paedophile to drive school buses despite knowing he was barred was spared jail today.

Susan Reynolds, 61, gave Dennis Passover a job with her coach firm, Reynolds Diplomat Coaches, despite knowing he had been cautioned in 2008 for possessing indecent images of children.

When Passover heard police were after him last March, he abandoned the coach he was driving in the middle of the road in Ealing Broadway, west London, leaving the children stranded.

At the Old Bailey today, Reynolds, of Exeter, was handed a £7500 fine for allowing Passover to drive children to school between 2010 and 2015.

Robyn Murdo-Smith, prosecuting, said: “She had the knowledge that he was barred.”

Outlining the case, he said: “This came about following another investigation into the acts of the named person, Dennis Passmore, who was arrested on the 11th of March 2015 on suspicion of possession of indecent images of children.

“When he was aware police were at a depot, he abandoned the coach and the children on Ealing Broadway, and absconded. He was subsequently arrested later that day in Hastings.

“Mr Passmore has since been convicted in relation to the indecent images of children.

“Mr Passmore had been placed on the barred list in September 2008.

“He had been cautioned for possessing indecent images of children. That meant he wasn’t allowed to engage in regulated activity.”

Following his arrest last year, an investigation was carried out by Hertfordshire Council, and Reynolds admitted she had employed Passmore for many years.

But she claimed she did not know he was barred from activity with children, and believed his caution was for selling pornographic videos.

Passmore stopped working for her in 2008, but returned to the firm two years later, the court heard.

Last month, Reynolds was convicted of permitting Passmore to drive children to school, despite knowing he was barred, between 2010 and 2015.

Recorder Bruce Houlder QC said: “You are also an intelligent woman. You know perfectly well that that law is in place not to make life more difficult for employers, but to protect children from the possibility that they may be subjected to a form of abuse.

“I accept that to begin with, you dismissed him, but in 2010 you re-employed him.

“You knew that he was barred from regulated activity, barred from being a driver in certain situations.”