Jail for 12 and a half years for child abuser Keats Harvey, who groomed and assaulted four children - the youngest being a toddler

A CHILD abuser from West Wittering who sought out jobs where he would have access to children has been put behind bars for 12 and a half years.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:42 pm
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 5:59 pm

Keats Harvey, 24, was arrested in May 2020 following a National Crime Agency investigation and later charged with 14 child sexual abuse offences.

American national Harvey groomed and sexually assaulted four children, the youngest of whom was a toddler, and had a catalogue of almost 9,000 indecent images of children and 630 prohibited images on his electronic devices.

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Jailed: Paedophile who sought out jobs where he’d have access to children A man who sexually assaulted young children and was actively seeking opportunities to offend again has been jailed for 12-and-a-half years after a National Crime Agency investigation. Keats Harvey, a 24-year-old American national, groomed and sexually assaulted four children, the youngest of whom was a toddler. He was arrested by NCA officers at his home in West Wittering, Chichester, in May 2020 and later charged with 14 child sexual abuse offences.

The NCA uncovered a large number of chat logs and emails in which he had sent and received these images from other likeminded individuals, as well as admitting to having molested three young children.

Investigators subsequently identified four children who had been abused by Harvey, all of whom have since been safeguarded.

He met his victims through other adults he knew and assaulted one of the children whilst at a party.

Harvey made multiple further attempts to meet and abuse children by befriending vulnerable adults with kids and applying for jobs at places where we knew he would have access to children, including hospitals and nurseries.

Peter Stevens, regional head of investigations at the NCA, said: ‘Keats Harvey was conducting very serious offending, not just online but by physically abusing young children.

‘On top of this, he was actively trying to befriend adults who had children and had researched jobs on the internet at hospitals and nurseries, all with the aim of gaining access to children.

‘In my view he is an offender whose behaviour was escalating in terms of the severity of the abuse he was trying to commit.

‘The sentence handed down today is a reflection of that and I’m pleased he is behind bars where he no longer poses a risk to children.’

Harvey was found guilty in July of six counts of possessing indecent images of children, two counts of possessing prohibited images, two counts of taking and one of distributing an indecent photo of a child, two counts of assaulting a child under 13 by touching, and meeting a girl under 16 following grooming.

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