Barnsley pervert chained up boy in cellar and abused him

Harvey Sayles pictured in 2004
Harvey Sayles pictured in 2004

A sadistic pervert who punished a seven-year-old boy by regularly stripping him naked and chaining him to a chair in a cellar has been jailed for 14 years.

The boy was locked in the darkened dungeon crying and screaming with only bread and water for up to two days by twisted baby-sitter Harvey Sayles.

The victim and his sister, a year older, were regularly left with Sayles and his wife for weekends while their parents went to work.

Paedophile Sayles, then aged 20, seized the opportunity to sexually abuse the two children over a four-year period in the early 1980s.

Following a five-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court, Sayles was found guilty of 12 offences of indecently assaulting both children and falsely imprisoning the boy.

Jailing him Judge Michael Murphy said: “I find your behaviour has been controlling, callous and devious in the extreme. To bind a young child like this and leave him screaming in a cellar is sheer sadism.

“The parents of these children thought they had regular baby-sitters and you had vulnerable victims delivered almost to your door.”

He said Sayles had been quick to exploit the situation for his own ‘perverted gratification’.

The jury was told unemployed Sayles, now 51, was jailed in 2004 for a year after he was found guilty of downloading indecent images, including young girls being tied up for sex acts.

Both siblings said they went to Barnsley police station to complain about Sayles in about 1992 but were told ‘it was too late to do anything’.

The boy plucked up courage to go again in 2014 after being alarmed at his sister making several failed suicide attempts – for which she blames Sayles.

The brave male victim, now 38, told the court that he was locked in Sayles’ cellar for up to two days at a time.

He said: “I used to get stripped off with no clothes and was taken downstairs to his cellar. I was tied sometimes with a rope or chain to his chair. I was there numerous hours if not overnight with only bread and water.”

He added: “It was only a very small, damp, wet cellar. Sometimes I was there all night.”

The boy’s sister, now 39, said: “My brother was tied to a chair and he had a glass of water and a piece of bread. He was tied by his waist with chains and rope. He was screaming.”

Sayles and his wife Gayle claimed the two children only ever stayed at their two-bed terraced house in Barnsley once over one weekend and that the children were lying and ‘jumping on the Jimmy Savile bandwagon’.

Sayles claimed he had no sexual interest in children and had accidentally downloaded the indecent images on his computer.

Nicola Quinney, prosecuting, said of the boy: “He was stripped and tied to a chair.

“He was left there for a number of hours at a time.”

Sayles, of Coronation Road, Hoyland, was found guilty of three offences of indecently assaulting the boy and three offences of falsely imprisoning him in the cellar between 1985 and 1987 when the boy was aged between seven and nine years old.

He was found guilty of six offences of indecently assaulting the girl between 1984 and 1987 when she was aged eight to ten years old. He was cleared of two indecent assault charges against her in 1988.

Chris Aspinall, defending Sayles said he was only 20 at the time himself and he was a ‘very different man’ today. He has health problems including arthritis and walks with sticks.

The judge placed him on the Sex Offenders Register for life and banned him from working with children.