20 years behind bars for Sheffield sex offender

Update issued Tuesday 10 May 2016 


A 50-year-old Sheffield man has been jailed for 20 years today (Tuesday 10 May) for sexually abusing vulnerable girls and women.

Owen Smith, of Hawley Street, Sheffield, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court to be sentenced after being found guilty of multiple sexual offences.

Following a trial last month at Sheffield Crown Court, Smith was found guilty of five counts of rape, two charges of sexual assault and one count of trafficking.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Stephen Evans, from Sheffield’s Child Sexual Exploitation team, said: “This is a significant prison sentence for an individual who preyed on vulnerable girls and women at risk of sexual exploitation.

“His behaviour is simply despicable, and I’m pleased he is behind bars where he can cause no further harm to vulnerable members of our community.

“I wish to recognise again the courage of the victims who have been exceptionally brave throughout this process. I hope they are reassured by the significant sentence given to Smith for his disgraceful crimes.

“Please let this positive result act as further reassurance to victims and survivors of sexual abuse that we are determined to bring offenders of this vile crime to justice and we’d urge anyone with concerns or anyone suffering sexual exploitation to come forward.”

To report concerns for a child, or if you wish to report child sexual exploitation, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also call or text the national helpline Say Something on 116 000.

 
 
 
Issued Tuesday 12 April 2016 
A Sheffield man has been found guilty of multiple sexual offences against vulnerable girls and women.  
 
Owen Smith, 50, appeared before Sheffield Crown Court on trial this week charged with five counts of rape, two counts of trafficking and two charges of sexual assault 
 
Today (Tuesday 12 April) he was found guilty of five counts of rape, two charges of sexual assault and one count of trafficking. 
 
The court heard Smith, of Hawley Street, Sheffield, was a mental health worker.
 
Smith was arrested in September 2014 after being found with a vulnerable teenage girl, who had been reported missing the day before. The police investigation identified two more victims and a number of witnesses who all spoke of Smith’s predatory sexual behaviour. 
 
Investigating officer Detective Constable Stephen Evans, from Sheffield’s Child Sexual Exploitation team, said: “Smith preyed on vulnerable girls and women at risk of sexual exploitation.
 
“He should have been someone the victims could trust, that the victims could turn to for help. Instead, he used them for his own sexual gratification, which is simply despicable. 
 
“I want to thank the victims for their courage throughout a lengthy police investigation and court trial, where they had to relive Smith’s abuse before a jury. That is an incredibly difficult and distressing experience and I commend them for their bravery. 
 
“I am pleased with the verdicts reached today by the jury and I sincerely hope that this offers the victims, all of whom remain incredibly vulnerable, some small form of comfort knowing that this disgraceful person is behind bars for his crimes.
 
“Please let this positive result act as further reassurance to victims and survivors of sexual abuse that we are determined to bring offenders of this vile crime to justice and we’d urge anyone with concerns or anyone suffering sexual exploitation to come forward.”
 
Smith has been remanded in custody to be sentenced on Tuesday 10 May 2016. 
 
To report concerns for a child, or if you wish to report child sexual exploitation, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also call or text the national helpline Say Something on 116 000.