Barnsley pensioner sentenced to 24 years for child sex offences

A Barnsley pensioner has been jailed for 24 years after pleading guilty to a catalogue of sexual offences against two children. 

Derek Keeling, formerly from Wombwell, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court today for sentencing after entering guilty pleas to 24 sexual offences at a hearing in December last year.

Derek Keeling has been sentenced to 24 years for a catalogue of sexual offences against two children

Derek Keeling has been sentenced to 24 years for a catalogue of sexual offences against two children

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At the December hearing, Keeling, 73, entered guilty pleas to multiple counts of rape, sexual assault of children under 13 and over, and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, and one count of distributing indecent images of childre,

Keeling was sentenced to 24 years in prison and will serve a further year on licence, and has also been handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO).

The charges relate to two children – who cannot be named for legal reasons – who were under 18 at the time of the abuse.

 Detective Constable Nicola Milner, the investigating officer, said: “This is a substantial sentence for the significant sexual abuse of two young victims. Keeling will now likely spend the rest of his life in prison for his horrific crimes.

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“Those involved have shown tremendous strength and bravery throughout our investigation and I commend their courage. 

“Our inquiry began in summer 2017, after we received intelligence that Keeling was uploading and distributing indecent images.

“As a result of a warrant at his address, we seized electronic devices that uncovered evidence that Keeling had committed serious sexual crimes against two victims.

“I am pleased he has been sent to prison for his crimes, though this will never be able to undo the damage caused to his victims. I only hope that with this sentencing, the victims feel able to move forward with their lives knowing that their abuser is behind bars.”