EXCLUSIVE: 'Dangerous' South Yorkshire man jailed for raping children

Andrew Welsh has been jailed for 17 years for sex attacks on children
Andrew Welsh has been jailed for 17 years for sex attacks on children
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A South Yorkshire man has been jailed for 17 years for sickening sex attacks on three children aged between two and eight years old.

Andrew Welsh, aged 30, of Poplar Terrace, Royston, Barnsley, was found guilty a string of sex attacks, including raping two of the youngsters, between 2000 and 2009.

He has been branded 'dangerous' by South Yorkshire Police and has been placed on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

Detective Constable Jo Chambers, the officer in charge of the investigation for South Yorkshire Police, said: "Welsh was convicted of eight counts of rape and sexual assaults of three girls, aged between two and eight years old at the time of the offences.

"Welsh pleaded not guilty to all the offences and the case went to trial, resulting in the victims having to go through the difficult and harrowing ordeal of giving evidence in court.

"When victims go through this process, it is a traumatic experience and I would like to praise them for their bravery.

"They have shown immense courage and strength and I hope that knowing Welsh is behind bars will go some way towards helping them move forward."
The detective added: "Welsh is a dangerous individual and will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely and will be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order upon his release.

"South Yorkshire Police are committed to bringing the perpetrators of child sexual abuse before the courts and will always listen to victims who come forward to report such abuse.

"This sentence hopefully sends out a clear message that sexual abuse of any kind will not be tolerated and we will do everything we can to ensure the offenders are brought to justice so they cannot cause harm to anyone else."

The father of one of the young victims said he was 'disgusted' at the sex attacks.

Welsh was a family friend who abused his daughter when they were alone.

"He was a family friend and great with kids, or so we thought - I am absolutely disgusted at what he did, we had no idea," he said.

"We found out because our daughter confided in a teacher and when we asked why she had not told us first she said she hadn't wanted me to go to prison for hitting him, she hadn't wanted to lose her dad.

"She's a teenager now but this has ruined her life, I don't know if she will ever move on from it. Until he was jailed she was constantly looking over her shoulder and even though she knows he is going to spend years behind bars she is still worried about what will happen when he gets released, whether he will go looking for her."