A CONVICTED paedophile who fled the country to start a new life with a Filipino bride he met on Facebook has been hunted down by the police and jailed for three years.
Raymond Keeley, 72, paid for a flight to Manila using funds in a secret bank account when he should have been attending the Sex Offender Treatment Programme for abusing a girl of six.
“He met a lady on Facebook from the Philippines and decided to start a new life, and he did not think he needed to tell anyone,” prosecutor Caroline Abraham told Bradford Crown Court.
Keeley was tracked down by West Yorkshire Police and Interpol after a missing persons alert was triggered when he disappeared off the probation service’s radar in October, 2013.
He was arrested on a warrant and held in a detention centre in the Philippines for four months, before funding his own flight back to the UK because of the overcrowded, rat infested conditions he was being kept in, his barrister Jayne Beckett said.
Keeley, formerly of Harewood Rise, Keighley, was jailed for two years in December, 2012, for six offences of sexually assaulting the little girl during trips to the Philippines.
But his sentence was altered by the Appeal Court to a three-year community order with the condition that he attended the Sex Offender Treatment Programme.
The alarm was raised when he missed appointments with the probation service and used a credit card for a bank account he had hidden from the police to take a ferry from Portsmouth to France and a flight on to Manila.
He was apprehended in the Philippines on March 14 this year after leading a new life there with his wife and their young son.
He was flown back to the UK on July 21 and the following day he pleaded guilty at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court to four offences of breaching the terms of the sex offender register.
Yesterday, he was brought to the crown court in custody and admitted breaching the community order by failing to tell the police about the bank account and leaving the UK without permission.
Mrs Beckett said Keeley’s two-year jail sentence was reduced to a community order because he confessed to the church about what he had done.
“He informed against himself, otherwise the offences would probably never have come to light,” she said.
“He became a solitary and desolate figure and had very little in this country to live for.”
Mrs Beckett said Keeley had honoured his marriage and felt the loss of his family greatly.
There was no evidence of any wrongdoing by him while he was on the run.
“He made a very, very bad series of choices when he felt desolate and depressed,” Mrs Beckett said.
The judge, Recorder Tahir Khan QC, told Keeley: “These were gravely serious breaches. You made a conscious decision to leave the UK. It is at the top of the scale of seriousness for offences of this type.”
Recorder Khan added: “You showed flagrant disregard of the order to protect children from sexual offending.”
He made Keeley the subject an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
After the case, Detective Constable Steven Henson, of the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit, said: “The jailing of Keeley shows that we will pursue registered sex offenders who breach the terms of their orders – regardless of where they may travel to.
“Since it was established that he had fled to the Philippines in October 2013, we have worked closely with their authorities and Interpol to bring him back before the courts and I would like to thank all those involved in what has been a lengthy and complex operation.
“We hope this will serve as a warning to those with similar orders that they can also expect to be pursued with persistence if they breach the conditions which are put there to prevent further offending.”