York paedophile Keith Ryman jailed for 16 years for abusing three girls

A PAEDOPHILE may die behind bars after a jury convicted him of sexually abusing three girls when they were aged between three and 14, York Crown Court heard.

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Keith Ryman, 75, is starting a 16-year jail sentence for 20 years of sexual crimes against two generations of an extended family.

The jury heard the girls only spoke out when the youngest saw him with a three-year-old child and feared he was doing what he had done to her when she was three years old.

Judge Simon Hickey told Ryman: “You took the opportunity to inveigle yourself into the trust of the family and you were able to use your power as an adult in order to say at times to the victims ‘you won’t be believed and I will be believed’.”

Ryman had blackmailed one of the victims to keep silent with the “insidious” threat that he would abuse her sister if she spoke out.

When they did reveal the truth, Ryman had forced them to relive what he had done by making them give evidence against him, the judge said.

The jury convicted Ryman of 10 charges of indecent assault, four of sexual assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Ryman, of Carnot Street, off Leeman Road, York, denied all the offences, plus two charges of sexual assault of which the jury had acquitted him.

He will be on the sex offenders’ register and subject to a sexual harm prevention order and a restraining order banning him from contacting the victims, all for life.

His barrister Laura Addy said after the verdicts: “It may be he never sees the light of day out of prison again.”

In a victim personal statement, one victim told how Ryman’s crimes had driven her to drink and drugs before she was 14 and to start smoking when she was 12.

Another told how they had affected her schoolwork.

All told how difficult they found it to talk about what he had done, to form relationships and to trust men.

Miss Addy said prison would be hard for Ryman because of his mobility problems, his poor hearing and other medical problems.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “What Ryman put this family through is utterly unimaginable.

“His awful attempt to threaten a victim into silence was fruitless and, thankfully, those he targeted found the courage to speak out.

“We hope today’s sentencing provides some degree of comfort and helps them to move forward.