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Pensioner jailed for sex attacks

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:18 16 September 2010

A 76-year-old Beccles pensioner who carried out a string of sex assaults on four young girls could spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was jailed for seven years.

A 76-year-old Beccles pensioner who carried out a string of sex assaults on four young girls could spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was jailed for seven years.

Frail pensioner Keith Willis, who Norwich Crown Court heard on Monday suffered from poor health and collapsed with heart failure in front of the prison governor while on remand, was also placed on the sex offender's register for life and banned from ever working with children.

He was also made subject to a sexual offences prevention order under which he must not have unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.

Willis, of Gresham Road, was found guilty of 16 sex offences against four young girls after a trial. His youngest victim was only about five when she was first abused and all the offences happened some years ago - the most recent being about nine years ago.

Willis had denied the offences and claimed the girls had “concocted” the allegations against him.

Jailing him, Judge Simon Barham told Willis that he had “blighted the childhood” of his victims and he had caused them “long term harm.”

“All the girls were very young when the abuse started.”

Andrew Thompson for Willis said he was of low risk of re-offending because of his health and age.

He said while on remand Willis collapsed in front of the prison governor and had to be rushed to hospital where he had a pacemaker fitted.

He said that Willis also suffered from a number of health problems.

“Clearly a custodial term for him is going to be much more demanding than for a younger man.”

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