The former Lord Chief Justice of England, Lord Hewart, once said “justice must be not only be done, but must also be seen to be done” – outlining one of the main reasons that news outlets cover court cases.
Our reporters attend the county’s criminal courts – as well as its coroners’ courts – every day; reporting on cases from across South Yorkshire in order to show justice being done and to shine a spotlight on the lessons that can be learned from a person’s death.
We have been your eyes and ears in court as some of the county’s most reprehensible offenders have been jailed for their heinous crimes.
And here are 10 of the worst cases from the past decade.
Our thoughts continue to be with the victims’ loved ones.
In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.
1. Murder of Alan Greaves
Beloved church organist Alan Greaves was set upon in a fatal attack as he walked to midnight mass on Christmas Eve 2012. Jonathan Bowling (left) battered devout Christian Mr Greaves around the head with a pick-axe handle. He was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 25 years, in July 2013 after admitting to Mr Greaves' murder. A subsequent appeal against the length of sentence was rejected. Ashley Foster (right) was found guilty of Mr Greaves' manslaughter and sentenced to nine years in prison following a 2013 trial.
2. Tristan and Blake Barrass' murders
Tristan, 13 and Blake Barrass, 14, were murdered by their parents, Sarah Barrass and Brandon Machin in May 2019. The depraved and incestuous couple share a mother and hatched a plot to kill all six of their children after becoming concerned their unnatural relationship would be discovered. In November 2019, they were jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 35 years, for the murders of Tristan and Blake, the attempted murder of their four surviving children and the conspiracy to murder all six children.
3. Rape of women in front of young children
Paul Eames raped two women in front of a group of two-year-old children on the Transpennine trail in Doncaster on his 40th birthday in September 2015. He was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 10-and-a-half-years for his horrific crimes in March 2016. Sentencing, Judge Micahel Murphy QC said: "I have sat in criminal courts for 30 years and I still find that cases come along that shock me to my core and this is one of them because of the depths of depravity and the wickedness of what you did to those innocent women in front of young children."
4. Brothers' sexual exploitation of Rotherham children
Three brothers who groomed, raped and sexually assaulted 15 girls in Rotherham were jailed for a combined total of 79 years in 2016. Arshid Hussain (left) was jailed for 35 years; Basharat Hussain (centre) was jailed for 25 years and Bannaras (right) was jailed for 19 years. The despicable brothers were found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court of a total of 38 offences, including rape, indecent assault, abduction, false imprisonment and making threats to kill. Their uncle Qurban Hussain was also jailed for 10 years for conspiracy to rape.