August 2023

Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Sexual Offences

A man has been jailed for over two decades for sexual offences against a woman and child.  

Michael Cavanagh, 69, of Doncaster Road in Barnsley, was charged with four counts of sexual offences including rape, indecent assault of a child and rape of a child.  

The offences dated back to the 1990s and both victims came forward and reported Cavanagh’s offending separately in 2019. An investigation was launched by Leeds Safeguarding Unit and he was arrested and questioned by detectives.  

He was later charged with multiple offences and stood trial at Leeds Crown Court and found guilty of four offences by a jury.  

Cavanagh appeared at Leeds Crown Court and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.  

He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.  

Commenting on the sentencing, Detective Constable Helen McDonnell of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said:

“I am delighted with the result and the sentence imposed on Michael Cavanagh. For 30 years, his two victims have had to live with the horrific abuse inflicted upon them by this man.

“He caused them unimaginable suffering which changed their lives forever, and theirs is the worst case I have dealt with in 17 years of Policing.

“Their bravery in coming forward to report this man and give evidence in this case is extraordinary, and I am so pleased that they now have justice after such a long ordeal.