Ex-Kenyan charity boss Simon Harris has prison sentence reduced

Simon Harris

Simon Harris, who was jailed in 2014 for sexually abusing Kenyan street children, has had his sentence reduced by two years.

The former VAE British charity boss from Pudleston near Leominster, carried out sex attacks on boys in the town of Gilgil, between 1996 and 2013.

He was sentenced to 17 years and four months behind bars after being found guilty of eight counts of indecent and sexual assault at Birmingham Crown Court in December 2014. This was the first time a British court had convicted a UK citizen of sex crimes in Africa.

However, this has now been reduced to 15 years by the Court of Appeal, after his legal team appealed against the length of the sentence at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Wednesday.

Mr Justice Cooke, sitting with Lord Justice Simon and Sir John Royce, agreed to the reduction.

Harris is a former classics teacher, who, the jury heard, had preyed on “very small children who have no families, nobody to look after them… sheltering in doorways”.

While working for the charity, which placed volunteers in Kenyan schools, he had lured his victims with the promise of food and shelter.

During the trial, Judge Phillip Parker QC described him as “intelligent” and “charismatic”, which gave him “a veneer of respectability”, enabling him to design his life to be close to boys.

He went on to say that while in Kenya, Harris had assumed a “hallowed” position, and was accountable to no-one. This allowed him to abuse street children who were amongst the most vulnerable in the world, the judge said.

His abuse was exposed by a Channel 4 documentary team who were making a film about the plight of Gilgil’s street children.


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