A man has been sentenced to over a decade behind bars after being found guilty of non-recent sexual offences against young girls.

Jason Cartledge, aged 42, of Charles Street, Wakefield, has today been sentenced to 14 years, which includes a 10-year custodial sentence and four years on extended licence.

The investigation began in 2019, when a woman came forward to report non-recent sexual abuse, which had occurred between 2005 and 2008 in the Eastmoor area of Wakefield. She was a teenager at the time.

Officers from Wakefield District Safeguarding identified a substantial number of witnesses and during this time a second woman disclosed further non-recent sexual abuse which had occurred earlier, between 2001 and 2002. She was also a teenager at the time.

Cartledge was arrested in June 2019 regarding the initial report and further arrested in December 2020 for the second disclosure. He was later charged with a number of sexual offences.

He appeared at Leeds Crown Court and following a lengthy trial, he was found guilty of six offences, three counts of sexual activity with a child and three counts of indecent assault of a child.

He was sentenced today and will remain on the Sex Offender Register for life and has been given a Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Restraining Order preventing him from contacting the victims.

Commenting on the sentencing, Detective Constable Kerry Wiles of West Yorkshire Police said; “I would like to praise the incredible courage and bravery of the victims in this case for coming forward to report the offences, but also for having to endure the criminal justice process where the trauma was relived due to Cartledge refusing to admit his guilt on all the charges.

“Cartledge preyed upon the vulnerability of these young victims, and I hope that these victims will find some comfort that justice has been served. I thank them for having the confidence in the police that what they said to officers would be listened to.

“The offending in this case went back over a decade, but despite the passage of time, we investigated his crimes and brought him justice.

“I would encourage anyone who has suffered any sort of abuse either recent or not to come forward and speak to police. You will be listened to and given the help and support you need. We have specially trained officers who will work tirelessly to bring any perpetrators to justice.”