Radio Sandwell Local News

UK charity boss jailed for Kenya child sex abuse

2015-02-26 19:39:07

Simon HarrisSimon Harris committed offences while running a charity in Gilgil, in Kenya's Rift Valley

A British charity boss who abused Kenyan street children after luring them to his home has been jailed for more than 17 years.

Simon Harris, 55, was convicted of eight counts of indecent and sexual assault on boys in Gilgil and possessing indecent images of children.

He abused the boys between 1996 and 2013, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Harris, of Pudleston, near Leominster, was head of gap-year charity VAE, which placed volunteers in Kenyan schools.

The former teacher had preyed on "very small children who have no families, nobody to look after them... sheltering in doorways" with the promise of food and shelter, the jury heard.

Judge Phillip Parker QC said Harris created a veneer of respectability that concealed his true character and enabled him to design his life to be close to boys.

In Kenya, Harris had assumed a "hallowed" position, accountable to no-one, that allowed him to abuse street children who were amongst the most vulnerable in the world, the judge said.


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