A Castleford sex offender who preyed on vulnerable women in Wakefield and Leeds Districts has been jailed.

Russel Atkinson aged 24 of Meadow Road Castleford, was jailed for 13 years at Leeds Crown Court yesterday (Thursday April 27) after being found guilty of a rape offence and two sexual assaults.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

He has been branded as a sexual predator by detectives who said he showed no remorse for his actions.

The court heard Atkinson had sexually assaulted a female victim in the Leeds area in February 2020.

He was also found guilty of raping a female victim and sexually assaulting another in the Castleford area in December 2019.

Jurors heard that Atkinson had preyed on all of the victims when they had been intoxicated and that the 24-year-old had drugged his victim in the Leeds area before assaulting her.

Atkinson will be required to sign on the Sexual Offenders Register for life on his release from prison.

DS Victoria Thomas of Leeds District Police, said: “West Yorkshire Police welcomes the sentence in this case, and we believe it is reflective of just how appalling the crimes committed by Atkinson were.

“He has acted in an absolutely predatory fashion towards all three of his victims who he targeted at the end of nights out. One of the three females was also drugged by him, highlighting just what a danger he poses.

“I want to thank each of the three victims for being brave enough to come forward, and putting their trust in the justice system.

“It has been harrowing for each of them, but justice has prevailed and I’m hopeful they can now have closure.

“All reports of sexual offences are thoroughly investigated by specialist officers and we can promise victims we will always listen and do all we can to seek justice for them.”