April 2023

Audacious South Yorkshire paedophile finally snared after sending Facebook friend request to victim

A sex abuse survivor believed she would take the horrific crimes she endured as a little girl ‘to the grave,’ but after receiving a Facebook friend request from the audacious South Yorkshire paedophile responsible, she decided she had to take action.

Keith Bailey, aged 62, is currently serving a 15-and-a-half year prison sentence for a string of sickening sex offences committed against two young girls in Rotherham in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Bailey, of Southey Crescent, Maltby, Rotherham, thought he had gotten away with his crimes for decades, but after he made the fateful decision to look up one of the girls he abused, Lisa*, on social media, even going so far as to try and make contact through a Facebook friend request – everything changed

Speaking out about the abuse for the first time, Lisa said: “He sent me a friend request, which I thought was god damn rude. He probably thought I’d forgotten about everything. I sent him a message back, asking him: ‘Why did you make me do that stuff when I was a little girl?’

“That triggered it off…it brought it all back because I’d tried to get on with my life.”

“I thought I was going to take this to the grave…if it hadn’t been for that Facebook friend request, I probably wouldn’t have told anybody,” continued Lisa, who was under the age of 10 when the abuse took place.

Bailey did not respond, but nevertheless the interaction still lit a fire under Lisa, motivating her to go to the police, and setting off a chain of events that resulted in Bailey’s second victim, Becky*, coming forward, and Bailey finally being brought to justice more than 40 years on from his wicked crimes.

Just like Lisa, Becky has also chosen to talk publicly. Through this article, both survivors want to firstly publicise the details of Bailey’s convictions, but they also hope it will help to give anyone who has been burdened with the weight of secretly carrying around similar trauma the strength to come forward – as well as an understanding of what to expect if they do.

Becky estimates being between three and four-years-old when Bailey abused her. She says that she too kept it to herself, after he threatened to ‘hurt’ her family if she ever dared to speak out.

And that fear has remained with Becky, who still lives in the Rotherham area, through to her adult years.

Due to Bailey’s connections to one part of the town, Becky says she has refused to go there, even when it meant missing out on precious time with loved ones as a consequence.

“I avoided the place, as an adult, not being able to go to town, Parkgate, constantly looking over my shoulder,” said Becky.

Lisa lives miles away from Rotherham, but has described how she has spent much of her adult years momentarily believing she had seen him in a crowd, and dreading having to see him again.

Despite the fear both survivors have been plagued with, once Lisa set the wheels in motion, both remained steadfast in their determination to see justice served – even through a challenging court process.

Bailey refused to admit his wrongdoing, entering not guilty pleas, resulting in him going on trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Lisa and Becky both gave evidence during the course of the trial in October last year, and were each provided with support from their Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, and witness support, helping to prepare them for what the court process would be like.

Describing her experience, Lisa said: “It wasn’t nice, having to relive everything, and having to tell his barrister – when you’re made out to be a liar, when he’s stood there, lived his life to the full, knowing what he’s done. And I have to suffer. What I had to go through in that court was horrendous, same as anyone else, survivors are always the ones who are made out to be the ones in the wrong. That’s how it felt.”

Lisa chose to waive the offer of special measures in court such as a screen used as a barrier to prevent Bailey from seeing her as she gave her evidence, because she wanted to face him, to prove he had not beaten her.

“It was harder than I thought it would be but I needed to do it, I needed to do it for myself – to show him that I’m not that little girl anymore who was scared,” said Lisa.

But Becky needed that extra protection from Bailey.

She explained: “I couldn’t even look at him in court, I had to have a screen around me. I threw up as soon as I got out.”

While it was undoubtedly a difficult experience for Becky and Lisa, their evidence is what helped to secure Bailey’s conviction, and he was found guilty of a total of eight sex offences, comprised of five counts of indecent assault and three counts of indecency with a child.

Commenting on how it felt to receive the news that the jury had returned guilty verdicts, Lisa said: “I broke down, I just couldn’t believe it.”

And on December 23, 2022, the day came for Bailey to be made to face the consequences of his actions when, during a hearing at Leeds Crown Court, he was jailed for 15 years and six months, and was handed an extended licence period of one year, bringing his total sentence to 16-and-a-half years.

Lisa read out her victim personal statement in court, but was disappointed that Bailey was not made to attend in person, but over a video link from the prison he had been remanded to.

“It’s still a bit of a blur, I can’t remember everything but the one thing that I wanted was to hear those words: ‘Take him away’. I didn’t get to hear those words but I got to hear the judge say: ‘Do the prison officers know you’re ready, your sentence has now finished and said you’ll be taken to your cell.’ I still got a bit of it with that. It still doesn’t feel real now that he’s been locked up.”

Lisa and Becky have finally been given the justice they have deserved for much of their lives, but they now want to encourage other abuse survivors to speak up, if they can, and to trust that support is available if they do.

Lisa said: “There are people out there who can support you, and keep you safe. It’s better to open up than keeping it in. I’ve had this in my head for 40 odd years, but now, just realising what support is out there, and it does make you want to encourage other people to go and do it. I’m wanting to be a support worker now.”

Becky said: “It was a long process, but at every stage, I was being updated and if we wanted to find anything out, I could get in touch with the ISVA.”

“I can’t thank, ISVA, police, witness care, judge for how they made us feel safe, explained everything. The support is there, use it.”