A taxi driver has been hailed a hero after he saved a 13-year-old girl from an ‘unthinkable ordeal’ at the hands of a predatory paedophile after he became suspicious when he picked her up.
Satbir Arora received the job to take the schoolgirl from Oxfordshire to Gloucester station and was informed he would be paid by a man on the other side once he arrives.
When he arrived at the destination he became suspicious and asked the teenager if her parents knew her whereabouts.
Mr Arora also telephoned Hewings and made recordings of the calls.
The girl eventually confided in Mr Arora that her parents did not know where she was and Mr Arora quickly informed a police officer who was nearby.
Police were able to find out that the girl was groomed by 24-year-old Sam Hewings, whom police found had used online chat software to discuss kidnapping, sedating and raping victims.
When arrested police found a rucksack containing knives, duct tape and co-codamol tablets.
Last week, Hewings was sentenced to five years in prison for attempted abduction, and the distribution and making of indecent images.
A spokesman for Cherwell District Council said: ‘Satbir Arora was presented with a certificate for outstanding achievement in safeguarding, by Councillor Kieron Mallon, the lead member for public protection.’
‘I can’t praise Mr Arora enough for his caring attitude and for recognising that his passenger was in grave danger.
Det Con Ian Bennett from Gloucestershire Police added: ‘I cannot praise the taxi driver enough for his actions in this case. He undoubtedly saved harm from coming to the girl, and provided vital evidence for the prosecution.’