British pensioner jailed for sexual abuse in Kenya

|News, International and organised crime , Sexual offences

A pensioner who was found guilty of sexually abusing two children in Kenya has been jailed for more than 18 years.

Keith Morris, 72, befriended the families of his victims and provided them with money and gifts. He was found guilty on 22 May of four counts of rape, three counts of assault by penetration, four counts of sexual assault and two counts of perverting the course of justice following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Over a period of around 20 years, Morris, of Hull, made friends with a number of families living in a remote Kenyan village.

He financially sponsored several of the families, providing household goods, clothing, medical treatment and paying for their children’s education.

During the visits Morris would take groups of children out of the village for day trips. He would buy them sweets, make-up, take them for meals and often invited them to stay in his hotel rooms.  

On several occasions in 2016 and 2017 Morris sexually assaulted and raped two of the girls, while they stayed in hotels with him.

After concerns were raised by a hotel guest an investigation was launched by the National Crime Agency and the Kenyan Police Child Protection Unit. Morris, who had returned the UK, was arrested in February 2017.

In preparation for the trial, the CPS worked with the Kenyan authorities to enable one of the victims to give their evidence via video-link from Kenya.

He was sentenced today (18 July) to 18 and a half years' imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court.

Kate Hurst, from the CPS, said: "Under the guise of supporting Kenyan families, Keith Morris used his position of trust to abuse two young girls in his care. Both victims had the courage to describe what happened to them, including one victim giving evidence via video link from Kenya. After hearing this testimony and in light of the strong case put forward by the CPS, the jury have today found him guilty of these serious sexual offences.

“Thanks to the close partnership between prosecutors, including a CPS Criminal Justice Advisor in Kenya, the National Crime Agency and law enforcement officers in Kenya, the prosecution was able to bring the strongest possible case to court.

“Crucial evidence was provided by the victims themselves and I would like to thank them for their bravery in coming forward.”

Notes to editors

  • Kate Hurst is a Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division
  • Keith Morris (DOB 16.10.45) was charged and found guilty of four counts of rape, three counts of assault by penetration, four counts of sexual assault and two counts of perverting the course of justice
  • The charges of perverting the course of justice relate to recordings found at Morris’s home of telephone conversations he had with the victims and their families in which he asked about the police investigation and tried to persuade them to withdraw their complaints of rape and sexual assault
  • In 2016 Morris embarked on legal proceedings in Kenya to gain what he referred to as guardianship over eight children. He completed an application, supported by the families, but the courts refused. He used a copy of the court order made during the proceedings as ‘evidence’ for anyone who questioned why he was in the company of young children, for example when visiting hotels
  • The CPS has a dedicated Criminal Justice Advisor based in Kenya, who provided support to prosecutors in the UK. This included securing the permission of the Attorney General of Kenya for NCA investigators to travel to Kenya to conduct their investigations, and permission for a number of witnesses, including one of the victims, to give evidence by video link from Kenya. The CPS Criminal Justice Advisor, Jennifer Bairner, acted as a dedicated point of contact for UK-based colleagues as well as partners at the NCA and in the Kenyan authorities. Read more about how the CPS prosecutes international and organised crime

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