Man jailed for 15 years after raping girl in Barnsley

A man has been jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of raping a schoolgirl.

Dale Gavin Smith abused his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, over the course of nine months in Barnsley while she was younger than 10 years old.

Now a young woman, she was forced to relive the abuse she suffered when the case went to trial earlier this year.

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In February, a jury found 35-year-old Smith guilty of three counts of rape of a child under 13, two counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child.

Smith, of Wombwell, Barnsley, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for those offences.

He was jailed for 15 years with a one-year extended license, as well as being handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and being placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Detective Inspector Gary Askew said: “This brave victim, who is now a young woman, came forward to police to report the awful abuse she suffered as a young child at Smith’s hands.

“She has been incredibly courageous and has shown such strength through a police investigation and subsequent trial.

“Smith refused to accept responsibility for his crimes and this woman had to relive her abuse before a jury, who convicted Smith of multiple horrific offences.

“I hope this case illustrates that we will pursue offenders of this vile crime no matter when it happened – please, if you or someone else you know is suffering as a result of child abuse, come forward and talk to someone.”

The case could not be reported on earlier this year because Smith was due to stand trial on other offences.

Last week he was found not guilty of sexual offences against a second victim.