‘Despicable’ Barnsley rapist jailed for 18 years

A Barnsley man found guilty of 10 counts of rape against two women has been jailed for 18 years.

Robert Smith, aged 56, of Hope Avenue, Goldthorpe was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, September 27), for offences which took place between 2006 to 2014 in the Thurnscoe area of Barnsley.

Robert Smith.

Robert Smith.

Smith was also found guilty of a further two counts of sexual assault and two counts of actual bodily harm, including threatening to kick one of the victims, who was pregnant at the time, in the stomach if she did not do as he said.

Investigation leader, DC Jill Rankin, said: “This has been a difficult and complicated investigation especially for the victims who were subjected to violent and horrific attacks over a prolonged period of time.

“I would like to praise both victims for their bravery in coming forward and giving evidence against this man.

“They have now received some justice for what they were put through and I really hope this sentence goes some way toward allowing them to move on with their lives.”

The police investigation was launched in October 2014, after one of the victims told her support worker that Smith had sexually assaulted her on a number of occasions.

She told her that Smith would get angry and start swearing at her if she did not do what he wanted.

Smith was arrested immediately and the investigation led detectives to interview a second victim.

She told police that Smith had been physically and sexually abusive towards her. On one occasion he put his hands around her throat and assaulted her while she was unconscious.

“The abuse these women suffered at the hands of Smith is absolutely despicable,” added DC Rankin.

“Absolutely no-one should have to go through this level of abuse and South Yorkshire Police will continue to do everything we can to protect vulnerable people and bring those breaking the law to justice.

“If you or someone you know is suffering from abuse in any form please do contact us on 101 and our specially trained officers will help you.”