Friday, November 17, 2023
A predatory sex offender who committed a catalogue of crimes against children and vulnerable adults spanning more than three decades has been jailed following an investigation by specialist safeguarding officers in Leeds.
Craig Meredith, aged 50, of Middleton Road, Morley, was convicted of 38 offences following at trial at Leeds Crown Court.
He was found guilty of offences including rape, sexual assault by penetration, sexual activity in the presence of a child and sexual touching.
The offences covered a period from 1987, when he was 14 years old, to 2019 when he raped a victim under the guise of a paranormal entity which had possessed her.
He manipulated vulnerable young children and adults with learning disabilities and left them suffering significant trauma and long-term mental health issues.
Today he was sentenced to 33 years – 30 years custody with a three-year extended licence.
Detective Inspector Vikki Daniel-Thomas, of Leeds District Safeguarding, said: “The level of harm that Meredith has caused to such a large number of victims over a very long period of time is truly appalling.
“He is clearly someone of a predatory nature who presents a very significant danger to children and vulnerable adults, and we hope it will give the victims some reassurance to know he has finally had to answer for his actions and has received a significant term of imprisonment.
“This was a complex and challenging investigation where the diligent work of the officers in the case, Detective Constable Julie Arnott and Detective Constable Paul Ashton, has resulted in this positive outcome for the victims.
“Serious sexual offending such as this will always attract the highest level of investigation by specialist safeguarding officers to ensure that offenders like Meredith are brought to justice.
“We hope the successful conclusion of this case will help to give victims of other similar offences to confidence to come forward.”