Rotherham man jailed for raping seven-year-old girl
A Rotherham man has been jailed for 17 years for a string of sex offences including the rape of a seven-year-old girl.
Martin Coles, aged 54, of Highthorn Road, Kilnhurst, was found guilty of 26 sexual offences against one victim who was under the age of 13 at the time of the offending.
CRIME: Gunman still at large after shooting in Sheffield parkShe was just seven when she was raped, jurors at Sheffield Crown Court heard.
POLICE: Man jailed for extra 40 months for holding prison worker hostage in DoncasterREAD MORE: Missing Sheffield schoolboy found safeInvestigating officer DC Jo Smithson said: "Coles has been jailed for a very long time and has been shown to be an evil sexual offender.
"Coles made his victim, who was a child at the time, feel ashamed, scared and threatened. He said if she told anyone they would think she was lying.
"His actions were despicable and took away the childhood of an innocent girl."
The offending took place in the Rotherham area during the 1970s and spanned a six-year-period.
His victim came forward in 2016 to report the abuse.
"At the time of the abuse, she did not want to upset her family or cause problems so she tried to shut things away and get on with her life," said DC Smithson.
"For decades she lived with this abuse and made every attempt to lead a normal life.
"But in the hope of preventing this happening to anyone else, she came forward and had the courage to stand trial.
"I cannot stress the bravery and courage that it has taken for this lady to re-open the horrendous abuse she suffered at his hands and bring him to justice."