British national, Keith Morris, who has been convicted in the UK of nine child abuse offences committed in Kenya. PHOTO | COURTESYBritish national, Keith Morris, who has been convicted in the UK of nine child abuse offences committed in Kenya. PHOTO | COURTESY
By EVELYNE MUSAMBI and AGENCIES

A British national who befriended vulnerable families in Kenya, and then abused their children, has been sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison.

Keith Morris, 72, was in May this year, found guilty of sex offences against young girls he met while on holiday in Mombasa between January 2016 and February 2017.

A British couple reported him to the police for what they termed as odd behavior with the children and the UK National Crime Agency in collaboration with Kenya’s National Police Service and Child Protection Unit launched investigations into the matter.

Morris was charged with nine counts of child abuse, which he denied, kick-starting a three-week trial that saw some of the victim’s testify through video link from Mombasa.

LIKE A PARENT

In defence, he claimed that he was “like a parent” to the girls and they “enjoyed” staying with him in hotels for the luxury.

According to Hull Daily Mail, Morris told the jury that he had been visiting Kenya for nearly 30 years and first got involved in charity work because he had seen a child who was badly burned.

“When you have seen people living in these conditions, it’s something you just grow into. It’s just like the pop stars like Midge Ure. I would love to spend millions of pounds helping, but I was just a drop in the ocean,” he told the jury.

The jury convicted him of four counts of rape of a child under 16, three counts of sexual assault by penetration of a child under 16, two counts of sexual assault of a child under 16 and two counts of perverting the course of justice.

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