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Friday, 04 May 2018

Rotherham man who sexually abused young girls is jailed for 25 years

Written by Tess de la Mare

A man has been jailed for 25 years for sexually abusing three young girls.

Tony Chapman, 42, from Rotherham, was convicted of raping, physically assaulting and threatening to kill two girls following a nine-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

The abuse took place between October 2013 and May 2015 when the girls were under the age of 16.

The jury found him guilty of one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one count of rape, and one count of threatening to kill the first victim.

He was convicted of two counts of raping the second girl.

Chapman admitted 12 counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape of a third underage girl between February 1998 and January 1998 at a court appearance in April.

Jailing him for 25 years, Judge David Dixon described Chapman as a "very dangerous and callous man who thought he was invincible".

He added he has shown "no remorse" for his actions, and said of the victims: "These brave women will be listened to and looked after."

Chapman (pictured) was brought to justice following an investigation by the National Crime Agency as part of Operation Stovewood.

Operation Stovewood senior investigating officer Paul Williamson said: "I have said it before, but the courage of complainants to come forward and recount their harrowing pasts of abuse should not be underestimated.

"This is a further case of an adult preying on vulnerable children, and without their courage and trust we would not be able to hold offenders to account for the offences they committed and finally render justice for those affected.

"The evidence we were able to compile against Tony Chapman meant he had no choice but to plead guilty to sexually abusing one of the victims who was a child at the time of offending.

"Her courage, and that of the two victims who stood in court and courageously gave evidence of what happened to them, means Chapman will no longer pose a threat to other young girls."

He said that children in Rotherham would be much safer now that Chapman is behind bars.

Operation Stovewood is the NCA's independent investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse and exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.

Chapman is the fifth person to be convicted.

There are currently 24 separate investigations under the Stovewood umbrella, with 125 suspects identified and more than 270 complainants engaging with officers.

So far, 18 suspects have been charged and 10 released under investigation, while two have been cautioned.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) National Crime Agency / PA Wire.