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British charity boss found guilty of child abuse
|Simon Harris. PHOTO | WEST MERCIA POLICE
British man raped Kenyan street boys
Thursday, December 18, 2014
A British charity boss who preyed on hundreds of Kenyan street children has been found guilty of sexual abuse in the UK.
Simon Harris, 55, was convicted of eight charges of indecent and sexual assault on youngsters in Gilgil, and four of possessing indecent photos of children.
One boy was so traumatised by the abuse that he committed suicide after giving evidence in the case.
Michael Kamondia died on December 7, just days before the jury retired to consider their verdicts.
The charge relating to Kamondia’s allegation was withdrawn midway through the trial because of a legal technicality.
On Tuesday, Harris was found guilty of eight charges of indecent and sexual assault on five homeless boys — one of whom was just nine.
But the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK said British police “believe the abuse carried out by Harris, who formerly worked as a teacher, could have spanned four decades, and the number of victims could be 'in the thousands'.”
Birmingham Crown Court heard he would lure boys to his house in Kenya by offering them food, shelter and money. Many of the victims gave evidence via a video link from Kenya.
The trial heard that the boys Harris targeted were subjected to horrific ordeals for hours on end in his luxury home.
Now questions are being asked as to why Harris — described as a manipulative, predatory and dangerous abuser — was able to travel freely to Kenya.
The Daily Mail said he allegedly overturned a foreign travel order in a magistrates’ court by forging documents from Kenya claiming he could travel.
Between the early 1990s and 2013, Harris spent six months a year Gilgil where he ran a charity called VAE, which helped arrange teaching placements in Kenya for British gap-year students.
A witness, Mr Dan Ndiritu, reported Harris to Kenyan police 10 years ago.
British man Simon Harris convicted of sexually abusing Kenyan children
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
A British man has been convicted of committing sexual offences in Kenya.
A jury unanimously found Simon Harris, a 55-year-old former teacher, guilty of five sexual assaults, including against a victim as young as six, and two counts of indecent assault, Britain's The Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
He was also found guilty of four counts of possessing indecent images of children but was acquitted of seven charges including rape, attempted rape and sexual assault.
Kenyan witnesses gave evidence via video link during the trial at a court in Birmingham.
The court heard that Harris "preyed" on Kenyan boys as young as six, but he denied luring the boys to his home using food, money and the promise of schooling, The Guardian reported.
Harris was arrested following media reports that he may have been involved in sexual offences when he was in the country running a charity in Gilgil.
He was arrested at his home in the UK in July 2013 following a joint operation of the West Mercia Police and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.