July 2023

Paedophile charged with over 20 child sex offences spared jail

A sex predator who admitted committing more than 20 child sex offences charges has been allowed to walk free from court.

Kieran Keyworth was communicating with eight ‘young girls’ online, with vile discussions including graphic details about how he would engage in sexual activity with them.

The 20-year-old was also found with a sickening stash of indecent images of children (IIOC), with toddlers as young as three being sexually abused.

But because he is autistic, the court was told that it would be a ‘difficult world for someone with his condition’, as he was spared a prison sentence by the courts.

The defendant was charged with more than 20 child sex offences, including communications, incitement to engage in sexual activity, making indecent images and distributing them.

Liverpool Crown Court heard from prosecutor Simon Mintz on Friday, July 7, how 159 IIOC were found across two of his mobile phones examined by police – images he had been collecting since the age of 13.

Officers also found ‘thousands of pages of texts and chats’ showing he had been having sexualised conversations with eight girls aged under 15

Four of these were real children, while police were unable to verify if the other four child profiles were being operated by real children or if they were decoys, run by paedophile hunter groups for example.

Keyworth was first approached by police in February 2021, with officers seizing his Google Pixel phone for forensic analysis.

This revealed sickening images showing girls as young as three and aged up to 14 being sexually abused.

In total, 39 of the images were graded in category A – the most severe category involving child rape – while 25 were put in category B and 72 in category C.

The defendant was released under investigation, and after this he obtained a Samsung phone, which later analysis also revealed contained 23 category C IIOC.

Moreover, in August 2020, he was found to have distributed a category B video and six category C images to other paedophiles online.

Mr Mintz spoke of how the phones had a ‘sophisticated set-up’ including the use of VPN software to mask his location, demonstrating that Keyworth had a ‘high level of knowledge’.

Keyworth was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court

He was using Snapchat and WhatsApp to chat with girls under the age of 16, while his search history had ‘terms indicative of this type of offending’.

Keyworth also used Omegle, which randomly pairs people to chat, Discord, Swiper and whatshalfway.com, with the latter finding a point halfway between two locations when discussing meeting up with children for sexual activity.

To one girl, he told her what sexual activity he would like her to do to him, requested a video of her and said: “Are you down to do stuff like sex?”

To another, he made repeated and persistent requests for her to send topless photos and perform sex acts on her self and described ‘in graphic detail’ how he would like to have sex with her.

To a 14-year-old girl, he said he would ‘do her senseless’, while to a 15-year-old he requested a ‘proper ass pic’ and sent her a photo of his penis.

When discussing sexual activity between them, Keyworth said: “You’re 15, I’d get slaughtered.”

Before sentencing, recorder Ian Harris said that the ‘choice I have to make is stark’, but chose against a custodial sentence so that the defendant could get ‘support’.

“At the time you committed these offences, your learning disability impaired your ability to exercise appropriate judgement, impaired your ability to make choices and impaired your ability to understand the effects and consequences of your actions.”

Keyworth, of Parker Street in the town centre, was sentenced to a two-year community order including 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a 43-day programme requirement.

He was also handed a sexual harm prevention order to restrict his ability to reoffend and must comply with sex offender registration and notification requirements with the police – both for the next five years.