‘Despicable’ Doncaster child abuser finally jailed almost 50 years after first offences

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A ‘despicable’ Doncaster child abuser has finally been brought to justice - almost 50 years after his first offences.

Joseph Harvey, 62, now of Sea Cliff Road, Scarborough, has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years after being convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls in Doncaster.

The 18 offences he was convicted of included multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual activity with a child, and attempted rape.

The second of his two victims was just eight or nine years old when his abuse of her started in the 1980s, with the first being around 12 years old and her abuse starting when he himself was 14.

The first offences date back to the 1960s and police today said his conviction show it is ‘never too late’ for abuse victims to come forward to report crimes they have suffered.

The court heard how Harvey abused his victims in the 1960s and 1980s in the Doncaster area. With the support of friends, they came forward to police last year and an investigation began.

Detective Constable Brian Thompson from Doncaster’s Public Protection Unit said: “This is a significant sentence that reflects the gravity of Harvey’s offending.

“While he pleaded guilty to some of the offences, he still put his victims through further trauma and distress by taking this to trial.

“I hope that the sentence handed to Harvey offers his victims reassurance and closure that, after so many years, their abuser is finally behind bars for his despicable crimes.

“This case highlights that it is never too late to come forward and report offences of this nature.

“I’d urge any victim of sexual offences to contact police so we can investigate and bring these individuals to justice.”

He was sentenced at Doncaster Crown Court following a trial in May, in which he was found not guilty of a number of other charges, three of which related to another complainant.

DC Thompson said: “The victims showed great courage in coming forward.”