Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Barnsley child rapist jailed for 20 years

James Andrew Swindlehurst Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption James Andrew Swindlehurst was found guilty of 13 counts of rape and indecent assault

A man who raped and sexually assaulted two underage girls has been jailed for 20 years.

James Swindlehurst, 43, bought sweets to gain the trust of his "vulnerable" victims before repeatedly attacking them over a five-year period beginning in the late 1990s.

Swindlehurst, of Rockingham Street, Barnsley, was found guilty of 13 charges of rape and indecent assault.

He was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court after a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Det Con Elinor Duke said: "This man took advantage of the fact that the children were vulnerable.

"He gained their trust by building a friendship with them and making them feel 'needed'.

"He would buy them sweets and take them out before carrying out a prolonged period of sexual abuse, telling them that there was no point telling anyone as nobody would believe them."

She praised the bravery of Swindlehurst's victims saying: "They did it with the motivation to prevent him hurting any other children."

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