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Child rapist who 'preyed upon' vulnerable Kenyans jailed

Keith Morris Image copyright National Crime Agency (NCA)
Image caption Keith Morris sexually abused two young girls from a remote Kenyan village

A man convicted of sexually abusing two young girls in Kenya has been jailed for 18 years and six months.

Keith Morris, 72, from Hull, used his elevated status among villagers in Kilifi County to groom young girls by taking them on trips.

He also bought them meals and let them stay in hotel rooms with him, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Morris was given a sexual harm prevention order and banned from having any unsupervised contact with children.

He was convicted of four counts of rape, four counts of assault by penetration, two charges of sexual assault and two counts of perverting the course of justice.

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During his trial, the court heard how Morris, a retired locksmith, repeatedly visited Kenya on holiday over a period of about 20 years, and was seen as a "patriarchal figure" in the village.

One of his victims had recently lost her father and was described as the "weakest of the girls in the village" in court.

The offences took place between January 2016 and February 2017.

'Most vulnerable'

The abuse only stopped when Morris, of New Bridge Road, Hull, was arrested in February 2017 after a fellow British tourist grew suspicious of his demeanour around the children.

After the arrest he attempted to transfer money to people he knew in Kenya in order to convince them to help clear his name.

He also contacted the girls to ask them to drop claims against him.

Morris told one victim he would help fund her school if she lied to police, she later told officers she feared she would starve without his support.

Sentencing Morris, Judge Robin Mairs told him: "You were a benefactor to the residents of this village, especially the children.

"There is no doubt that you used your elevated and financially powerful position to access the girls.

"You preyed upon the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable."

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