August 2022

Child rapist who heckled victim in court jailed for 20 years

A remorseless paedophile branded one of his victims a liar and heckled her in court as he was jailed for 20 years.

Kenneth Kavanagh raped a seven-year-old boy and sexually assaulted a girl when she was aged as young as six.

He has now finally been brought to justice – but attempted to heckle the victim he abused as a child in court as she outlined the devastating impact his crimes have had on her.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, that the 74-year-old’s offences involved assaulting a girl and forcing her to watch him masturbate. Kavanagh, of St Andrew’s Court in Ellesmere Port, also plied her with alcohol.

He went on to rape a boy and forced him to perform sex acts upon him on multiple occasions. The predator “used violence against him to bend him to his will” and told him not to tell anyone about his abuse.

The female complainant said in a statement to the court that Kavanagh’s abuse had been her “first sexual experience”, which had “shaped her life”. She added: “You were disgusting and dirty.

“There were times in my adult life where alcohol played a part as a result of the abuse sustained from you. That was a coping mechanism for dealing with the trauma I had gone through as a result of you.

“I drank to stop the nightmares and block out the things you did to me. Every so often, I will binge drink to forget.

“It doesn’t work. I suffer from panic attacks where I have a vision of your face.

“I often feel I can’t function in those moments. I still have nightmares when I wake up and see your horrible face.

“I’m often convinced you are in my house and my partner has to check. I’m dreading you coming upstairs to my bedroom.

“I find it hard to trust anyone. I suffered in silence and crashed through my life.

“I have had the strength to bring my abuser to court and bring you to justice. Now is the time to get better and try to recoup the life I have left.”

Kavanagh – who appeared via video link to HMP Liverpool in a wheelchair – was heard saying “money, money, money, money” at the beginning of the hearing, before being placed on mute. He also shook his head throughout and made hand gestures, including rubbing his thumb against his index finger and middle finger.

The pensioner appeared to mouth the word “liar” as the victim bravely read her statement to the court. 

Kavanagh was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault, two of buggery and one of indecency with a child following a trial. He was found not guilty of one charge, while another two were ordered to lie on the file after jurors failed to reach verdicts on them.

Sentencing, Judge Anil Murray said: “You were mouthing that she was a liar. You have shown no response whatsoever in this case.

“You abused her and provided her first sexual experience. The nightmare he underwent has never left him.

“It’s no exaggeration to say you ruined their lives. I make it clear that I have taken into account your age and state of health.”

Kavanagh was handed an extended licence period of two years, and must serve at least two thirds of his sentence in custody before being eligible for release.

He was told to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and subjected to 20-year restraining orders, banning him from contacting both complainants.