December 2009

‘Evil and deceitful’ child rapist jailed

AN “EVIL, deviant and deceitful” child rapist, who launched sex attacks on two young girls in Cornwall, has been jailed for 16 years.

While on remand Martin McKeon, 37, who was living in Launceston at the time of the offences tried to fool the courts by having tattoos put on the front of his thighs in a bid to discredit his victims’ evidence.

Yesterday at Truro Crown Court, after sentence had been passed, McKeon hurled abuse as Judge Christopher Elwen told security officers to take him down to the cells.

McKeon, who worked in the building trade, will serve a minimum of eight years before he can be considered for parole and if ever released will be put on the sex offenders register for life.

After an eight day trial earlier this year McKeon, of no fixed abode, was unanimously found guilty of three offences of rape, two of indecency with a child, one of sexual assault on a child under 13 and one of indecent assault. He was acquitted of having incited a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

McKeon had claimed if he had committed the offences the girls would have seen he had tattoos on his thighs. However, the prosecution proved while in prison awaiting trial a cellmate had in fact given him the tattoos.

Before his outburst yesterday, Judge Elwen told McKeon: “Your ultimate lie (the tattoos) was particularly evil and only exposed by the quick thinking and diligence of the officer in the case. Those tattoos do, indeed, exist as the tattooist, a fellow remand prisoner, testified, they were put on your thighs just weeks before the trial date.

“He later learned the intention was to assert, as part of the defence to the charges you were facing, they had been in existence for a number of years.

“It is difficult to think of a more malignant act which could have been taken by anyone to avoid conviction and to contrive an acquittal which, in this case, would not only have left young girls even more psychologically damaged than they already are but also have seriously besmirched their reputations.

“It is this court’s assessment that you are an evil, deviant and deceitful individual, who fits exactly the statutory definition of a dangerous offender.”

Judge Elwen said pre-sentence reports showed McKeon posed “a high risk of re-offending” and was “likely to commit further sexual and/or violent offences” because he had a history of violent relationships.

“The offences of which you were convicted involved a planned and sustained assault over a number of years against your victims. You have no victim empathy and, in fact, see yourself as the victim of the machinations of others,” the judge added. “You should be considered at serious risk of causing harm to children and potentially adult women both now and in the future.”

After the case, Detective Sergeant Pete Found praised the bravery of the two girls. He said: “These were extremely serious crimes and we are happy with the outcome. Essentially it’s about the need to protect the public.

“McKeon is a highly dangerous man who showed absolutely no remorse or empathy towards his victims. They, on the other hand, showed immense courage and bravery in bringing these charges against him and throughout the court process which was certainly not easy for them.”