'Vile' sex offender who raped and abused three young girls jailed for 30 years

·2 min read
(South Yorkshire Police)
John Kelk has been sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for sexually abusing three young girls in the 1970s and 1980s. (South Yorkshire Police)

A sex offender who raped and sexually abused three young girls over several years has been jailed for life.

John Kelk, 68, described as "vile" by police, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday to at least 30 years in prison.

He carried out his abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, but it only came to light in 2018 when one of his victims reported what happened to her as a child to her local police force.

A subsequent investigation by South Yorkshire Police uncovered two more victims.

One of the victims was just seven years old when the abuse started.

Kelk, from Wingfield Road, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, carried out sexual and physical abuse against his victims,

The court heard that on one occasion he dragged one of the girls by her hair, beating her and making her drink weed killer.

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A general view of Sheffield Crown Court, Sheffield.
John Kelk was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to at least 30 years in prison. (PA)

His victims were commended for giving evidence at his trial, after he put them through the added ordeal of giving evidence in court due to pleading not guilty.

Kelk was found guilty of 22 charges, including rape and sexual assault. He was jailed for 30 years with a one-year extension on his licence period.

Detective Constable Nicola Milner said: "This was a particularly horrendous case and I am extremely pleased to know that Kelk is finally behind bars where he belongs after putting each of these victims through utterly horrific ordeals.

(South Yorkshire Police)
John Kelk was described as a 'vile' sex offender by a police force. (South Yorkshire Police)

"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."

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