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Ex-archery club owner from north Suffolk jailed for sex abuse

PUBLISHED: 10:08 29 October 2011 | UPDATED: 10:22 29 October 2011

Keith Willis, sentenced to 18 years

Keith Willis, sentenced to 18 years

THE former owner of a north Suffolk archery club who is currently serving a jail sentence for sex assaults on young girls has been jailed for 18 years for sexually abusing and raping a schoolboy.

Sentencing 77-year-old Keith Willis, Judge Rupert Overbury branded him a “serial sex offender” and said he had carried out a campaign of abuse on the boy when he was aged between eight and 12.

Willis, who ran an archery club in Worlingham with his wife, was jailed for seven years last year after he was convicted of 16 sex offences involving four girls. His youngest victim was only about five when she was first abused and some of the offences dated back to the early 1970s.

A further victim, who is now in his 20s, contacted the police after hearing about Willis’s convictions and claimed he had been sexually assaulted by him when he was a child.

Willis, of Gresham Road, Beccles, was subsequently charged with five offences of indecent assault on a male, two of indecency with a child, three offences of buggery and one of rape, and went on trial at Ipswich Crown Court last month. He had denied the offences but was convicted of all the charges and sentence was adjourned until yesterday for medical reports to be prepared on him.

During the trial, the victim told the court that Willis had abused him on a number of occasions more than 15 years ago and had told him not to tell anyone about it.

Sentencing Willis, who is in poor health, Judge Overbury said he had abused the boy over a four-year period and there was an element of planning and grooming.

He said some of the sexual assaults had taken place in Willis’s car at the side of the road. “You must have considered where it was safe to do it without being seen or heard,” the judge said.

He said Willis had ignored the boy’s protests during the assaults. “His psychological scars will never heal,” said the judge.

He ordered the 18-year sentence to run concurrently with the seven-year sentence he is currently serving, In addition, Judge Overbury made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and directed Willis to sign on the sex offenders’ register.

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