February 2019

Polo club owner raped and sexually assaulted four women over 12-year period

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A polo club owner who raped and sexually assaulted four women during a 12-year campaign of abuse has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Paul Piddington, 53, who runs the Vale of York Polo Club in Misson, Doncaster, was jailed after a court heard his catalogue of abuse spanning from 2002 to 2016.

He was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault, one count of rape, one count of indecent assault and one count of exposure. 

Piddington, of the Grove and Rufford Hunt, was on trial at Sheffield Crown Court in January.

Caroline Wigin, prosecuting, told the court how Piddington sexually abused four women. 

The first woman he abused between 2002 and 2004 was aged between 18 and 20 at the time, and only came to police in 2017 after reading about an appearance in court.

In 2011, another woman came forward to report the abuse straight after it happened, while another told of how Piddington exposed himself to her and abused her five times in 2014.  

His latest victim after forward after he raped her in July 2016, the court heard.

Ms Wigin told the court how the day after the woman was raped by Piddington, she ‘broke down in tears’ to a close friend after describing her horrific ordeal.

She said: ‘She went to two other friends, who persuaded her to go to the police.

When Piddington was quizzed by police about the rape, the polo club owner branded the victim an ‘attention seeker’.

Judge David Dixon jailed Piddington for 11 years and six months following a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.