Man sentenced for sexual offences against underage girl

Mick Ferris
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A survivor of sexual abuse has described the detrimental effect that the crimes of a convicted sexual offender had on her.

Thomas Thorpe-Keen, 23 of Creasen Butt Close, Heybridge, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, June 9 via video link where he was sentenced to 14 years in prison after being found guilty of multiple sexual offences against a child.

Thorpe-Keen came to the attention of Essex Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team in 2020 following concerns around his relationships with underage girls.

He was issued with a Sexual Risk Order and Criminal Behaviour Order which held a number of conditions including not allowing him to be in the unsupervised company of anyone under the age of 18, which he breached continuously.

In 2019, Thorpe-Keen targeted the 15-year-old victim and started a relationship with her. He stalked, coerced and controlled the young girl, watching for when she could be home alone and raped her multiple times throughout the relationship.

He was arrested in July 2022 after he had raped the victim, left the address and then broken back into the property through the living room window before threatening to kill her. Enquiries showed that he had called the victim over 100 times and waited outside her address before leaving the area, eventually being arrested in the North of England a few days later.

On July 26, Thorpe-Keen was charged and remanded in custody. After an enduring three-week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, Thorpe-Keen was convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour, multiple rape, rape and breaches of courts orders. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

In her victim impact statement, the brave victim described how “He was so controlling that I lost a lot of friendships.”

“I still find it difficult to talk about my emotions and how I am feeling and I will often shut down.”

Police Constable Thomas Olson, investigating officer from Essex Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Team said: “Thorpe-Keen is a manipulator and would try to convince the young, vulnerable victim into thinking he wasn’t doing anything wrong and that he was the ‘Alpha’ of the group.

“He even tried to convince her that he hadn’t raped her due to the fact that she had let him into the house on one of the occasions. He is a dangerous individual and has seriously affected the life of the victim.

“Despite being a long investigation, I am so proud of how the victim has conducted herself and the bravery she has demonstrated.”

Support is there for anyone affected by rape and sexual abuse, and no victim or survivor is alone. Synergy Essex provides specialist support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse of all ages and all genders across Essex, Thurrock and Southend.

Synergy Essex is a partnership of rape and sexual abuse centres in Essex: CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), SERICC Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service and Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis (SOS Rape Crisis). Synergy Essex is independent from the police and provides support for victims and survivors throughout their journey.

Victims and survivors can self-refer, or be referred by a parent, partner, friend or professional and can access specialist emotional support, counselling and advocacy.

For victims and survivors who report to the police, Synergy Essex provides an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, providing support throughout the criminal justice process.

For more information visit the Synergy Essex website:

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