Sheffield judge jails child sex offender for three decades for 11 rapes

A sex offender who abused two children has been jailed for 31 years, in a case a detective described as of the ‘most disturbing’ he has ever dealt with.

Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 1:18 pm

Michael France, aged 42, of Sandyfields View, Skellow, was jailed after being found guilty of 14 charges against two victims.

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He was accused of two charges of sexual assault of a child under 13 against the first victim, and one charge of indecent assault, five counts of rape of a child under 13 and six counts of rape against the second victim.

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Michael France has been jailed for 31 years for sexually abusing children. He appeared at Sheffield Crown Court.

The paedophile was ordered to serve a minimum of of 31 years in custody, with an extended five years on licence upon his release.

He has also been placed on the Sex Offenders Register for life and has been made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The sex offender has been branded a “predatory and depraved man” by the police.

The offences took place across both North and South Yorkshire and the Humberside area.

A joint investigation by South Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Police was mounted in 2019 when the first victim came forward and reported the abuse they had been subjected to by France.

As the investigation developed a second victim was discovered.

Temporary Detective Sergeant Melissa Green, of South Yorkshire Police, praised the bravery of the victims for coming forward.

She said: “Throughout the trial Michael France maintained his innocence, denying the allegations and stating they had never happened. Ultimately, he was implying his victims were lying.

“The complainants in this case were children at the time of the offences, one of them now being an adult, who had come forward to police to report historical abuse against them by Michael France between the ages of five and 18 years of age. Their bravery in doing so has led to him now finally facing time behind bars.

“We commend these victims for coming forward, and helping bring him to justice before a court. We hope that this helps them find some closure, and we urge all victims to come to us with their cases so that we may be able to help them too.”

Speaking about the sentence handed to France, Detective Sergeant David Adams, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “As the very lengthy prison sentence reflects – Michael France is a predatory and depraved man.

“He has shown no remorse for his behaviour at any point through the process. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, meaning his victims had to sit through a lengthy and painful trial where they had to give evidence against their abuser. I just hope that now he has been put behind bars for a very long time, the victims have the space to find closure on an awful period in their lives and move forward to more positive times.

“This case has been one of the most impactive and disturbing cases of sexual abuse that I have ever encountered.”

To report historic sex offences call South Yorkshire Police in 101.