'Dangerous' man jailed for sexually abusing children in South Yorkshire

Michael Sanderson was described as a 'dangerous individual'
Michael Sanderson was described as a 'dangerous individual'

A 'dangerous' man has been jailed for sexually abusing children in South Yorkshire.

Michael Sanderson indecently assaulted two schoolgirls in Barnsley during the 1980s.

The 54-year-old, of Turners Close, in Jump, Barnsley, was found guilty of eight counts of indecent assault of a female aged under 14 and three counts of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency. He was acquitted of one additional count of indecent assault.

Sanderson, who had denied all the charges, was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Friday (June 30) to 14 years behind bars.

DC Elinor Duke, from Barnsley’s Child Abuse Unit, praised the bravery shown by Sanderson's victims in coming forward.

"This has been a lengthy and protracted investigation but this dangerous individual is finally behind bars.

"Sanderson continued to deny his guilt throughout our inquiry, meaning our victims had to go through a trial process and further prolong their distress.

"He is now serving a considerable sentence in prison for his crimes and I hope that the brave women who came forward to report this abuse are reassured by this successful conviction.

"I hope this case highlights that we will do whatever we can to investigate crimes of child sexual abuse, even if they took place decades ago, and wherever we can we will bring the perpetrators before the courts."

South Yorkshire Police began investigating Sanderson in January 2015 when one of his victims revealed he had sexually abused her as a child in Barnsley during the 1980s.

A second victim, who also reported being sexually abused by the defendant during the 1980s, was subsequently identified.

Anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse can contact police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.