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Barnsley predator raped schoolgirl in a field as she walked home

A Barnsley predator has been found guilty of raping a schoolgirl who he attacked and left in a field as she walked home. Paul Blackshaw, 43, followed the victim along Wentworth Road in Hoyland before taking her into a field and attacking her at around 10pm on September 18, 2021.

He left her there upset, frightened, and alone, South Yorkshire Police said. She was walking home after spending an evening with friends.

A police investigation was immediately launched by South Yorkshire Police, and following extensive work by the Barnsley CID team, Blackshaw was identified, arrested and interviewed. During the interview process, the “shameful” man denied raping the girl but could no explain how his DNA had got on the girl’s clothing.

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Despite this, Blackshaw was charged with rape of a female under 16, and remanded into custody.

Blackshaw, of Oak Close, was found guilty by a unanimous jury verdict on Thursday (September 7) following a four-day trial at Sheffield Crown Court. He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing on October 6.

Investigating Officer DC Courtney Moorby said: “The bravery and testimony of this young victim is to be applauded and my thoughts remain with her as she attempts to rebuild her life following his incident. I am pleased the jury found Blackshaw guilty of his actions and he now faces sentencing. I hope this sends a clear message that those who prey on the vulnerabilities of others are shameful and their behaviour will not be tolerated.”

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