AFRICANGLOBE – A former British teacher “preyed” on needy young Kenyan boys, picking them up off the street before taking them home to sexually abuse them, a jury has heard.
Simon Harris, 55, denies 22 offences against boys as young as six ranging from rape to indecent assault all carried out in the east African country between 2001 and 2013.
In a trial expected to last until Christmas, the Kenyan victims will give evidence in court from 6,500 miles away over a live satellite links.
The jury sitting at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday heard that Harris had already admitted six counts of indecently assaulting three teenage pupils at a private school in Devon during the 1980s, where he taught Latin.
In the 1990s, the former housemaster moved to Kenya and set up the charity VAE, which placed gap-year students into local teaching posts.
Prosecuting barrister Kevin Hegarty, QC, said the 11 Kenyan victims were all street children, “with nobody to look after them” living a “desperate” existence sleeping under cardboard boxes and doorways in the town of Gilgil.
Mr. Hegarty said the 55-year-old Simon Harris would drive into the town and encourage young boys into his white Land Rover, bribing them with “food and money”, before driving back to his home. Some of the boys would be “given jobs” around the house, such as cutting grass and cleaning.
Harris would wash and molest some of the children after they arrived, while at night others would be invited into his bed, said Mr. Hegarty.
“Some were not assaulted, but he might take a fancy to a particular one and they would stay longer and stay in his bed and be subjected to indecent assault or and rape,” the prosecutor said.
The children’s only other alternative was the “desperate circumstances” of a reality of life on the streets. “It is on those children the defendant preyed.”
In addition to the sexual offences, Harris also denies five counts of possessing indecent photographs of children on two different computers, including one charge of having 270 images.
The case continues.
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