Hospital radio volunteer jailed for abusing young girls

Image source, West Yorkshire Police
Image caption,
Bradford Crown Court was told Jeffrey Kirby's victims "suffered in silence" until the offences came to light

A former hospital radio volunteer has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing four young girls.

Jeffrey Kirby, from Elland, West Yorkshire, had denied a series of historical allegations covering a period of more than a decade.

But on Wednesday a jury at Bradford Crown Court found him guilty of 10 of the 13 charges following a trial.

The 61-year-old, whose crimes did not relate to his volunteer work, was cleared of sexually assaulting a woman.

The court heard the complainants, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffered post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression as a result of the abuse.

'Suffered in silence'

One victim spoke of having nightmares almost every night while another said she had constant flashbacks.

The court heard Kirby's offending, between 1997 and 2007, involved sexually touching his victims under and over their clothing.

Judge Colin Burn highlighted Kirby's many years of volunteer work for hospital radio, but described him as "a two-sided character".

The judge said Kirby's victims effectively "suffered in silence" before Kirby's offending came to light following an investigation by Calderdale District Safeguarding Unit.

He added that they may never get over what he did to them.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Sgt John Moore, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "We would like to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward to report these offences.

"We hope the sentence Kirby has received will give them some closure and allow them to move forward with their lives."

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