April 2022

Cancer-stricken paedophile, 84, who sexually abused seven girls under 14 over more than 30 years will die in jail after being sentenced to nine years behind bars

A paedophile pensioner who sexually abused seven schoolgirls over a period of more than 30 years will die in jail.  

Keith Turner, 84, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, had an obsession with masturbation and would make his young victims perform sex acts on him ‘for his own selfish sexual gratification’.   

His abuse has had a profound effect on his victims. One tried to kill herself when she was aged 15 and another suffered a nervous breakdown which led to her losing her job.

Now Turner has been jailed for nine years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Prosecutor Antony Longworth said seven girls were the victims of the defendant between 1970 and 2002.

The pensioner performed a sex act in front of his victims and made some touch him, including, in one incident, while on a fair ground ride.

One victim read a moving statement to the court in which she said: ‘I felt frightened. I said nothing to anyone for fear of being disbelieved. In 2007 I suffered a nervous breakdown. I was totally depressed. As a result of the breakdown I lost the job I loved which I had for 20 years.

‘You took advantage of the situation and my vulnerability in order to gain your own sexual gratification and I will never forgive you for that. I will never forgive you.’

Turner, of Kidsgrove, pleaded guilty to indecent assault of a girl under 16, four offences of gross indecency with a girl under 14, and nine charges of indecent assault of a girl under 14.

Judge Graeme Smith said: ‘The only reason you have no previous convictions is because your victims have carried the burden of your abuse against them for a very long time, in some cases up to 50 years, and have not reported it due to shame, embarrassment, fear or pressure. You have damaged so many innocent lives.

‘A number of victims have said that to some extent they blame themselves for what has happened. It was not their fault. Each of them was a young child. You were an adult.

‘It seems clear you had an obsession with or an addiction to masturbation. I just hope in some way this day will be a turning point in each of their lives.’

Turner was made the subject of an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.