South Yorkshire man who abused seven year-old victim and teenagers jailed nearly 40 years after attacks took place

A sex offender who raped and sexually abused three young girls over a number of years faces spending the rest of his life in prison.

John Kelk, 68, of Wingfield Road, Athersley South, Barnsley, has been jailed for 30 years for the attacks which took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

The allegations initially came to light in 2018, when one of the victims reported what had happened to her as a child to her local force. South Yorkshire Police launched an investigation and the two further victims came to the investigation team's attention.

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Kelk entered a not guilty plea and forced his victims to give evidence at a trial. At Sheffield Crown Court on Friday, Kelk was found guilty by a jury of a total of 22 charges including rape and sexual assault. He was jailed for 30 years in custody with a one-year extension on his licence period.

John Kelk, aged 68, from Barnsley, has been jailed for 30 years for the sex attacks which took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

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"Kelk's abuse began for one of the victims when she was just seven years old and continued into her teens. The others were also just young teenagers when he committed these despicable acts.

"I am full of total admiration and respect for the victims, who have conducted themselves with remarkable courage and dignity throughout this investigation. While nothing can make up for what has happened to them, I hope that this significant sentence allows them to begin moving forward with the rest of their lives."

The court heard that in addition to Kelk's sexual offending, he was also physically abusive to his victims. On one occasion he dragged one of the girls by her hair, beating her and making her drink weed killer.