Men jailed for sexually abusing South Yorkshire girls

Ben Chivers and Brett McLaughlan have been jailed for abusing young girls in Rotherham
Ben Chivers and Brett McLaughlan have been jailed for abusing young girls in Rotherham
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Two men have been jailed for sexually abusing three South Yorkshire girls.

Ben Chivers, 20, and Brett Ashley McLaughlan, 25, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court charged with child sexual offences in 2015, which took place in Rotherham.

Chivers, of Rawmarsh in Rotherham, pleaded guilty to raping a 12-year-old, three counts of sexual activity with a 13-year-old and three counts of sexual activity with a 14-year-old in 2015.

McLaughlan, also of Rawmarsh, was charged with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old and the rape of a 12-year-old.

He was found guilty of rape and not guilty of sexual assault.

Both men have been remanded into custody and will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court in the next two months, after reports have been compiled and reviewed by the court.

During the trial, which began on Wednesday. the court heard how in April 2015, Chivers and McLaughlan targeted their victims, all girls under the age of 15, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Chivers befriended them online and arranged to meet them, before committing sexual offences against the girls.

Acting Detective Sergeant Gareth Gent said. “These two men, who were both adults at the time of their offending, knew that the girls were underage, because each victim made this clear either via social media messaging or in person.

“They groomed their victims with claims of affection and by giving them attention.

“They exploited these children, subjecting them to sexual abuse and in some cases raped them, all the while tightening their grip over the victims’ thoughts and feelings.

The court heard that, when the abuse was eventually disclosed to police and investigated, such was the hold these men had over their victims, the girls still believed that they had been in a relationship with the two predators.

“I commend the girls’ strength and courage, for coming forward and helping us with our inquiries," Acting DS Gent said.

"After a lengthy multi-agency investigation with significant input from Barnardos and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, it is our hope that with these convictions, the victims are able to begin their path towards recovery and confine this horrific abuse to the past.”