Former Saxon bassist Steve Dawson sentenced to six years in prison for child sex offences

Biff Byford and Steve Dawson, 1983
Saxon's Biff Byford and Steve Dawson onstage in 1983 (Image credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Steve Dawson, a founding member of Saxon, and the group's bassist from 1975 to 1986, has been jailed for sex years for historic child sex offences.

In a trial concluded at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, April 11, Dawson, 72, was found guilty of repeatedly abusing a six-year-old girl during the 1990s. On March 21, the former musician had been found guilty of four counts of indecent assault of a child under 14.

In a statement printed on the Doncaster Free Press website, Detective Constable Robert Heath, the officer in charge of the case commented: “Stephen Dawson thought he had got away with committing these horrific crimes against a young, vulnerable victim 30 years ago.

“She has shown extraordinary strength through coming forward and throughout the course of the investigation, resulting in Dawson spending a number of years in prison.

“It is clear that his evil acts have remained with her throughout her life, and I hope this sentence goes some way to allowing her to move on from these traumatic events.

“The result of this case demonstrates just how seriously we take these offences.

We hope this provides some encouragement that if you have been subjected to any offence, no matter how long ago it happened, to come forward and report it to us. We are here to listen, investigate and bring the perpetrators before courts.”

Dawson was a founding member of Saxon, having previously played with guitarist Graham Oliver in Yorkshire band SOB. After Oliver left Saxon in 1995, he and Dawson reunited as Oliver/Dawson Saxon, and played together until the bassist retired from performing in 2021.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.