Man sentenced to 22 years for sex attacks on South Yorkshire women and girls

Matthew Wood
Matthew Wood

A man will serve 14 years behind bars and eight on licence for sex attacks on women and girls from Rotherham and Doncaster.

Matthew Wood, aged 24, pleading guilty to 15 offences against five victims and was ordered to serve 14 years in custody with eight years on licence, after he was deemed by the judge to be a dangerous sex offender.

Wood, of Buckleigh Road, Wath, admitted seven counts of rape, four counts of sexual activity with a child, three counts of sexual assault and one count of common assault.

He also admitted possessing and distributing indecent images of children.

His victims were aged between 15 and 24 when the offences took place.

South Yorkshire Police said the investigation into his offending began in 2015, when officers received information that suggested Wood had been accessing indecent images of children.

Officers said 'it became clear that Wood had sexually abused a number of people' and his victims were then identified and traced.

Detective Constable Richard Howe said: “Wood preyed on vulnerable teenage girls and women for his own sexual gratification, a truly despicable crime.

“A number of his victims suffer from disabilities as well, making his exploitation of them even more appalling and cruel.

“I’m pleased he entered guilty pleas and spared the victims the further distressing experience of having to attend a trial to give evidence, but this does not lessen the significant impact this abuse has had on his victims’ lives.

“I hope that the sentence passed down today is of some comfort to them, knowing he is behind bars where he can cause no further harm.

“I want to thank the victims for coming forward to report this crime to police and for their courage throughout our investigation.”

Rotherham Council leader Chris Read said: “It is great news that this man is now behind bars where he can no longer inflict harm and misery as has done already done on his many victims.

"Both police and social care staff worked closely with the victims to help secure this conviction. Once again it shows the increasing strength and effectiveness of our partnership working across Rotherham in tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse.

“The fact he pleaded guilty also spared the victims in this case from having to endure a high profile trial. I hope they take some comfort from the sentence today.”