Perverted pensioner given 33-year sentence over vile historic sex offences against five-year-old child

John Smales
John Smales

A serial sex offender has been given a jail sentence totalling 33 years after pleading guilty to a string of sexual assaults against a child.

John Smales, 74, previously of Duke of York Avenue, Wakefield, was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for eight serious sexual assault offences.

The offences were committed against a child, starting when she was just five years old, and took place over a five year period in the 1980s.

Smales was told he must serve a 25-year custodial term followed by an licence period of eight years.

Smales is already serving a 24-year sentence - imposed in December 2017 - for sex offences against two other girls committed in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The latest case came to police attention in January 2018 after Smale’s victim approached Wakefield Child Safeguarding Unit to report the sexual abuse she had suffered.

The victim came forward after seeing news of Smales’ conviction in 2017.

Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Rolfe of Wakefield District Police, said: “The significant sentence given to Smales really does underline the gravity of his sexual offending against children.

“In this case, the victim came forward after seeing publicity for his first conviction and I wish to praise her courage in contacting us and helping us make sure Smales has been made to answer for what he did to her.

“Our focus is on achieving justice for victims, no matter how long ago the offending against them was committed, and this case perfectly illustrates that those who commit offences should never think they have just ‘got away with it.’

She added: “West Yorkshire Police takes all allegations of sexual offences extremely seriously and has dedicated, specialist safeguarding officers who are fully trained in investigating both current and historic reports.

"We would urge anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to please come forward so that we can ensure that they are provided with appropriate support.”