From stalking and rape, to possessing obscene photographs of children and rape, these men committed some of the most heinous crimes for which they were sentenced to time behind bars.
Some victims took years to muster the courage to expose the culprits to authorities, and one offender was finally brought to justice for crimes committed over 30 years ago.
Not only did they have to serve time locked up, many will be listed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
South Yorkshire Police has urged victims who have suffered sexual abuse to come forward and report it, no matter how long ago it took place.
1. Kevin Yeardley
Kevin Yeardley, 64, of Pembroke Crescent, High Green, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to six offences, including sexual activity with a child under 16, sexual assault of a child under 13 and causing a child to engage in sexual activity. He was sentenced to nine years in prison. His offences were committed between 1999 and 2005 and related to one victim.
2. Mark Harrigan
Mark Harrigan, of Halifax Crescent, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to attempting to incite a girl aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and attempting to engage in sexual activity in the presence of a child. The 35-year-old was sentenced to four years in prison for child sex offences following an investigation by South Yorkshire Police and the South Wales Regional Organised Crime Unit. Sheffield Crown Court heard how he communicated online with someone he thought was a 12 year-old girl and performed sexual acts in front of her. There was never a real-life victim and unbeknown to the offender, he was communicating with a police officer.
3. Wesley Hedge
Wesley Hedge, aged 72, of Dunkeld Road, Ecclesall, Sheffield, abused a young teenager for nearly two years from the late 1970s while he was a cadet leader at a Salvation Army group in Sheffield. He was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to six offences, including indecent assault on a girl under 16 years old, and was sentenced for his crimes at Sheffield Crown Court.
4. Craig Lawrence
Craig Lawrence, 46, of Oakroyd Crescent, Barnsley who stalked a woman over a 10 year period was jailed for four years and given a lifetime restraining order. Sheffield Crown Court heard how he met his victim four times over a two week period through a dating app a decade ago but then proceeded to stalk her. He would suddenly appear at supermarkets and takeaways where she was. He bombarded her with requests for sex and once woke up to find him standing in her bedroom doorway, shining a light into her bedroom. He then said he loved her and again asked for sex.