South Yorkshire man jailed for raping schoolgirl, 15, at knifepoint and performing sex act on himself in front of 11-year-old

Rother View Road, Rotherham. Picture: Google.
Rother View Road, Rotherham. Picture: Google.

A 48-year-old South Yorkshire man has been jailed for 20 years after a jury found him guilty of raping one school girl at knifepoint and performing a sex act at a bus stop in front of another one in two horrific incidents that took place five years apart.

It only took jurors an hour to find Paul Jones, 48, of Herringthorpe Valley Road, Rotherham unanimously guilty of five counts relating to two incidents carried out against two different Rotherham school girls in 2011 and 2016.

The charges were rape, engaging in sexual activity in front of a child and possession of a knife used to threaten in a public place relating to an incident involving a 15-year-old girl on November 14, 2016 and engaging in sexual activity in front of an 11-year-old child and attempting to incite sexual activity with a child, in connection to an offence on Friday, 10 June, 2011.

Following the guilty verdict being returned at Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday, Judge Peter Kelson QC sentenced Jones to 20 years in prison, including an extended five-year license period and placed him on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.

Opening the case last week, prosecutor James Baird told the court how during the incident involving the 11-year-old girl, which took place at a bus stop in the Canklow area of Rotherham, Jones asked the primary school pupil the time before carrying out the sex act on himself.

After it took place, Mr Baird said Jones left the scene, while the girl 'ran away' to report the incident.

Police interviewed the girl, and traces of the attacker's DNA were taken from the girl's clothing which were then put into a national database.

"But at that stage, no matches were found," said Mr Baird.

Just over five-and-a-half years later, Mr Baird said Jones' second alleged victim was walking to school across a field near to the woodlands where the attack is said to have taken place, when she noticed a jogger run past her.

He said: "But a few minutes later she heard footsteps. She was grabbed from behind."

Mr Baird said the girl recognised the man who grabbed her to be the same man as the one who previously jogged past her.

While grabbing the girl with his left hand, her attacker then brandished a kitchen knife with a lacerated blade and black handle towards the girl with his right hand.

He then took girl to nearby woodlands and thrown her on to the floor, before carrying out the rape and sex assaults on her.

Jones then fled the scene, and the girl text her sister to tell her what had happened who came to find her along with a friend. The girl then reported the incident to the police, and traces of her attacker's DNA were taken from her body during an examination from a doctor.

"The defendant now accepts that CCTV shows him arriving in his black Mondeo car at 8.14am that morning.

"He can be seen getting out of the vehicle and leaving his car before walking off in the direction of Canklow. He returns at 8.45am. He says he was walking his dog. The prosecution case is that the CCTV shows there was no dog," added Mr Baird.

Mr Baird told jurors that Jones was arrested on November 17, and a kitchen knife with a lacerated blade and black handle, of a similar style to the one used in the attack on the 15-year-old girl, was found underneath a mat in the footwell of his car.

Following this, the 15-year-old girl identified Jones as her attacker during an identification parade.

DNA evidence taken from both schoolgirls was found to be a match for Jones, and Mr Baird told the court that the chances of the DNA not originating from the defendant were estimated to be 'one in a billion'.

Sheffield Rape Crisis offer free and confidential support to anyone who has experienced rape or sexual abuse at any time in their lives. Call their helpline on 0808 802 0013, or visit their website by clicking here.

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