David Challenor

David Challenor
Photo: SWNS via The Sun

David / Baloo Challenor, a violent male transvestite, was convicted of multiple violent sexual offences against a young girl (aged 10 years old) in August 2018. His convictions included false imprisonment, rape, gross indecency, assault by penetration, indecent assault and assault causing her actual bodily harm plus convictions related to indecent images of children. 

Challenor was jailed at Warwick Crown Court for 19 years for the offences against the child, with a consecutive three-year term related to the indecent images, and was ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

According to The Sun the court heard Challenor, 50, “would dress up as a small girl in adult-sized baby dresses and nappies before carrying out the sickening attacks at his Coventry home.” The court heard he had “various sexual fetishes and fantasies” including dressing up as a small girl named Lucy and “medical issues”.

Sentencing Challenor the judge said: “It is hard to comprehend how you could behave with such depravity. The harm done by you to her is hard to overestimate.” The victim’s impact statement was read to the court after the guilty verdicts were returned describing how she had been traumatised by his violence against her.

Challenor was also convicted in 2013 of “failing to provide suitable environments for two corn snakes, a bearded dragon, two cats, three dogs, a hamster, two hedgehogs and two rabbits.” He was jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months, with 200 hours’ unpaid work, and told to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £500 costs.

Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline in confidence on 0808 800 5000.

 

**Update 25 Aug 2018**

The UK Green Party issued a statement presumably intended to address serious questions raised following David Challenor’s conviction in relation to his continued party membership and employment as Aimee Challenor’s election agent in 2017 and 2018 after being charged with multiple sexual and violent offences against a young girl (David Challenor is the father of trans activist and candidate for Green Party deputy leader, Aimee Challenor). The statement asserts that the Party knew nothing of David Challenor being charged with such heinous crimes until his conviction was publicised and therefore this, in turn, raises serious questions regarding party officials’ understanding of safeguarding procedures and responsibilities; Aimee Challenor  is currently Equalities LGBTIQA+ Spokesperson for the Greens. 

 

**Update 26 Aug 2018**

Following an article in The Sunday Times, Aimee Challenor stepped down from the deputy leadership election after initially refusing to resign. A party spokesperson also asserted that Aimee Challenor was “unaware” of David Challenor’s offending.

Article extract: “This weekend Aimee Challenor offered no comment but a party spokeswoman said the candidate had been unaware of the crimes and would not step aside.”

Aimee Challenor’s statement can be read here (archive). A further statement from the Green Party confirming it is “urgently reviewing its disclosure and safeguarding policies and procedures” and that Aimee Challenor “will not be undertaking any official Green Party roles while the party urgently looks into the circumstances which allowed this situation to arise” can be read here (archive).

Tina Challenor (Aimee’s mother and David’s wife) also is a Green Party member and stood for election to Coventry Council in May 2018. Even if Aimee was unaware of David’s offending until conviction, Tina Challenor was aware and appeared as a witness at his trial, corroborating what Challenor described in court as the supposedly legitimate uses of each of the items found in the attic where he raped and tortured the child, as reported in the Daily Mirror.

A (since deleted) comment (below) from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) in reply to queries as to how David Challenor may have held positions which would ordinarily be closed to someone with conviction(s) or on bail for such serious charges.

The Sunday Times article also reports that David Challenor worked as an assistant Scout leader and volunteer with a children’s gymnastics group which raises further grave questions regarding the safeguarding procedures and DBS checks which should have prevented Challenor from certain roles as he had a previous conviction, his children had been taken into care and he was charged with the most grave offences against a child. The dates he worked for these organisations is unclear. Aimee Challenor has advocated for the controversial policy adopted by the Girl Guides to allow boys to self-identify as girls and therefore access female showering and sleeping facilities at camp without informing parents that their daughters will effectively be staying in mixed-sex accommodation.

David Challenor’s involvement in design work for the Green Party’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaign is also detailed in The Times and Aimee Challenor’s blog indicates he attended a talk on trans issues that Aimee gave to Coventry University students in November 2016. Speculation on social media also alleges links between David Challenor – an IT specialist – to the tool which Aimee promoted to block 50,000 Twitter users (mostly women) who question transgender ideology, particularly the inherent risk within self-identification of gender that abusive men could exploit to access vulnerable women and children.

Screenshots from Twitter

A Green Party activist has also written of Aimee and David Challenor’s attempts to silence his questioning of the party’s policy of self declaration of gender;

Twitter screengrab. Link to Tweet

A post by another (now former) Green Party member who was suspended immediately and subsequently expelled after she referred to a biological male as a man has written here of her concerns regarding Green Party procedures, commitment to safeguarding and their silencing of feminists expressing concern about self-declaration of gender. She is also deeply concerned that “there could be more victims, the party needs to investigate whether other individuals were put at risk by this man being an election agent and resident at their Coventry HQ”.

David Challenor is also believed to have worked for Coventry Pride. The Twitter handles being addressed in the below tweet are Aimee Challenor (@aimeec110) and David Challenor (@AnoldarchDevil).

No coverage of David Challenor’s conviction or Green Party involvement has appeared on the BBC at the time of writing. The Guardian finally covered the story a day after other outlets.

David Challenor (as Baloo Challenor) also signed a letter initiated by Aimee Challenor in support of the Mermaids charity after the media reported that a high court judge had ordered a child should have no further contact with the organisation. List of signatories here.

 

*Update 28 Aug 2018*

statement by Coventry Pride following David Challenor’s conviction clarified his involvement and states:

“The Trustees were made aware of criminal proceedings being taken against Mr Challenor in November 2016. A directive was issued to those responsible for volunteer recruitment that Mr Challenor was not to be accepted as a volunteer at the Charity’s events and if he attended public events organised by the Charity he was monitored by the trustees.”

As a trustee of Coventry Pride in both 2016 and 2017, Aimee Challenor was therefore party to the offences David Challenor had been charged with, seemingly in conflict with the statement issued the previous day saying “I did not know about the full details of the crimes” and the day before being ““unaware of the crimes”. Nevertheless Aimee’s own blog reveals that David Challenor attended a Coventry Pride event in June 2017 as a photo credit on the site is attributed to “Baloo Challenor” when Aimee was well aware of the directive issued.

It remains to be seen how Coventry Pride were made aware of the criminal proceedings but the Green Party apparently were not until sentencing in August 2018. Or, for that matter, why none of the Coventry Pride trustees could have notified the Green Party of concerns using safeguarding procedures.

*Update 31 August*

Aimee Challenor was finally suspended from the Green Party five days after The Sunday Times published the article noting that David Challenor was employed as Aimee’s election agent after having been charged with appalling sexual offences against a ten year old girl. In the first line of the statement the suspension is described as being on a “no fault basis” and that “a number of complaints […] have been made against her.”

The statement is in stark contrast to how the Green Party announced the suspension of Olivia Palmer (the Green Party general election candidate for Esher and Walton in 2017) for ‘misgendering’ a male who identifies as a trans woman. No mention of a no fault basis or due process. (h/t @SwearyGodmother)

Screengrabs from Green Party website

Link to third Green Party statement on Aimee Challenor here. Link to statement re Olivia Palmer here

Screenshot of Green Party Women Facebook

A statement of solidarity with Aimee Challoner was shared on the Green Party Women’s Facebook page (archived here) which appears to suggest Aimee Challenor did inform the Green Party about David Challenor’s arrest in November 2016 but the party did not retain the information. No mention of Aimee Challoner’s presumed knowledge of Coventry Pride’s safeguarding measures regarding David Challoner is made.

The statement reads “In its support of Aimee the Party should have made clear that she was in care/supported independent living and therefore not living at home during the period the police have stated the crimes took place. Aimee was similarly not living at home when her father was charged in November 2016. However, what little information Aimee had about the charges she shared with the Party at that time, as is now fully apparent. We call for any subsequent statements by the Party to publicly acknowledge this. How this information was not retained by the Party will hopefully become clear & lessons learnt in the investigation.”

 

 

The @GreenPartyAimee Twitter handle was was changed to @AimeeChallenor (ie the Green Party credentials removed) and a further statement from Aimee Challenor issued (archive). It mentions vaguely that “circumstances have forced me away from the Greens” rather than in any way acknowledging personal actions having consequences.  

No information on whether Tina Challenor has been suspended is available, although she also stood for the Green Party in local elections in May 2018 with David Challoner as her election agent, and was aware her husband was awaiting trial as she appeared as a defence witness. 

It also emerged that the NSPCC failed to attend a scheduled Mumsnet webchat after the majority of questions were concerned with safeguarding and self-ID of gender, especially in light of safeguarding failures allowing David Challenor to work as an election agent for the Green Party in national and local elections and with the Scouts/girls’ gymnastics.

*Update 1 Sep*

Green Party issues a statement announcing an independent organisation, Verita, will conduct an investigation into “the circumstances surrounding Aimee Challenor’s father being able to act as her election agent while facing charges for serious sexual assault against a minor”. The stated timeframe is to “aim is to deliver the final report by mid-November”.

Link to statement here

Caroline Lucas also pledged to meet with Woman’s Place (a feminist group set up to ensure women’s concerns are heard in the debate over self declaration of gender) and another senior Green Party female member also calls for dialogue with women and mentions abuse of women trying to discuss safeguarding and raise concerns.

A trans identified male immediately tries to interpose themself into a meeting where women discuss women’s concerns and then goes on to label Woman’s Place as anti-trans activists. “Observe” indeed.

Media reports

The Spectator https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/08/aimee-challenor-and-the-danger-of-transgender-politics/

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/31/green-party-launches-inquiry-as-it-suspends-aimee-challenor

BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-45373833

Left Foot Forward https://leftfootforward.org/2018/08/green-party-launch-investigation-following-rape-conviction-of-deputy-leader-candidates-father-aimee-challenor/

The Sunday Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rising-greens-star-aimee-challenor-will-not-quit-over-rapist-father-kngjwc8l5?shareToken=3295f6617343d41dfad37955c3296990

Mumsnet https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3346800-Andrew-Gilligan-Sunday-Times-Challenor-Green-Party?pg=1

Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6100645/Green-Party-star-quits-hiring-father-despite-knowing-stand-trial-rape.html

Metro https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/26/green-politician-pulls-out-of-deputy-leadership-race-over-child-rapist-father-7884459/

The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/27/greens-rising-star-quits-deputy-leader-race-after-father-jailed-for

The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7072573/twisted-rapist-kept-girl-10-in-torture-den-attic-where-he-whipped-and-gave-her-electric-shocks-while-dressed-in-nappy/ archive

The Sun https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7085352/david-challenor-rapist-tortured-girl-whip-electrocuted-coventry/

The Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/coventry-captive-girl-attic-torture-den-david-challenor-coventry-a8502991.html archive

Birmingham Live https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/evil-paedophile-jailed-22-years-15059929 archive

The Mirror https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sadistic-pervert-held-young-girl-13120115

Metro https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/23/paedophile-dressed-up-as-baby-and-raped-girl-10-in-torture-den-7873346/

Metro https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/23/first-look-inside-torture-den-where-paedophile-held-girl-10-captive-7877384/

Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6091221/The-torture-den-pervert-kept-girl-captive-acted-sadomasochistic-fantasies.html

UK & Ireland Paedophile Database https://theukdatabase.com/2018/08/22/david-challenor-coventry/

Previous coverage of David Challenor

Animal neglect/cruelty conviction coverage https://www.briefreport.co.uk/news/intimidation-through-facebook-among-cases-heard-by-coventry-magistrates-2215286.html archive 

Daily Mirror https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/moved-together-36-hours-after-5041659 archive

Coventry Live https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/car-chase-eyewitness-i-thought-13057704 archive

Screenshot of David Challenor appearing to indicate he was a scout leader