A MAN who raped a 12-year-old girl has been caged for eight years.
Brett Ashley McLaughlan (25), formerly of Lister Avenue, Rawmarsh, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court today after being found guilty of rape following a trial in October in 2017.
McLaughlan was also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Co-accused Ben Chivers (20) was jailed for ten years in November 2017 after pleading guilty to multiple child sexual offences against three victims.
The court heard how McLaughlan raped his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in Rotherham in 2015.
Temporary DS Gareth Gent said: “While we have been able to demonstrate that Chivers targeted and groomed young girls on social media, his friend McLaughlan played an active role in this child’s abuse and he was found guilty of rape last year.
“This is an incredibly serious sexual offence that has a devastating impact on the victim’s life. The fact that he committed this appalling crime against a girl of only 12 years old is horrifying and quite rightly he is now behind bars for a lengthy period of time.
“This girl has shown remarkable bravery, firstly in coming forward and then throughout the joint investigation into her abuse, whilst being supported by Barnardo’s during the process.
“McLaughlan refused to accept responsibility for his sexual offending, meaning his victim had to endure a painful trial process.
“I hope this sentence offers his victim some small reassurance that her abusers are both now behind bars where they can cause no further harm.
“I also hope it reassures the wider community of our relentless pursuit of justice for victims of sexual offences and child sexual exploitation. We urge anyone who has concerns about sexual abuse or exploitation to contact police or a support agency so we can help.”
Information about child sexual exploitation can be found at www.southyorks.police.uk/spotthesigns.
Anyone with concerns about a child can call police on 101, or call/text the national helpline Say Something on 116 000.
The NSPCC also has 24/7 help available by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing email@example.com.