POLICE have praised the courage and strength of Kevin Offland's victims in coming forward, but acknowledged that no sentence could ever provide them with justice for what he had done.

Offland had denied 18 sexual offences against women and girls in the Telford and Pembrokeshire areas between 1998 and 2021.

The 45-year-old defendant, now of Nichols Road in Great Yarmouth, had been charged with three offences of rape relating to three different victims, an offence of rape of a child, a charge of causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and 13 offences of sexual activity with a child – relating to two girls while they were both aged 14 and 15.

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He was found guilty of all charges after a two-week trial, and on Friday was sentenced to a total of 26 years, with a further four years on extended licence.

Offland refused to attend his sentencing and face his victims, which led Judge Catherine Richards to brand him “a bully and a coward”.

“What was plain in this case was the incredible bravery of the victims and survivors to come to court and give their evidence,” she said.

“The impact on these young women has been stark.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that you are a danger to women. You are a manipulative predator.”

Speaking after Offland’s sentencing, DC Claire Duggan, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said: “This has been a complex case involving a number of victims and witnesses from two different force areas. Their courage and strength to firstly, report the abuse which was extremely sensitive and also the way they have remained strong throughout the investigation and trial is to be commended.

“I would like to thank the jury on the guilty verdicts given and Judge Richards for today's sentencing.

“This successful court result is an important reminder to everyone that justice can still be served years after any abuse was committed.

“I hope now that the victims and their families, who have been affected by the actions of Kevin Offland, can now try and move on with their lives.”

Police Investigator Ian Rutherford, from West Mercia Police - which investigated the Telford offences, said: “This case is harrowing and shocking and Offland caused what is likely to be lifelong trauma to his victims, and even though I welcome this sentence, no sentence can ever provide justice for the survivors or their families.

“The victim's, along with their family, have shown unwavering determination and bravery in helping us throughout the investigation, and I hope they can now start to move forwards.”