September 2018

Former hospital radio volunteer jailed for 10 years

A former hospital radio volunteer has been jailed for 10 years after a jury convicted him of sexual abuse offences against four young girls.

Elland man Jeffrey Kirby had denied a series of allegations covering a period of more than a decade, but on Wednesday a jury at Bradford Crown Court found him guilty of 10 of the 13 charges following a trial.

The 61-year-old was cleared by the jury of sexually assaulting a woman, but victim impact statements read in court revealed the impact of his offending on the four young girls.

The victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said they had suffered post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression as a result of the abuse.

One victim spoke of having nightmares almost every night while another said she had constant flashbacks about what Kirby had done to her.

Kirby, of Brooklyn Terrace, will serve up to half of his 10-year sentence before being released on licence, but he will then be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and registration as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.

The court heard that Kirby’s offending involved sexually touching his victims under and over the clothing.

Judge Colin Burn highlighted Kirby’s many years of volunteer work for hospital radio, but described him as “a two-sided character”.

The judge said the complainants had effectively “suffered in silence” before Kirby’s offending came to light and they had clearly been traumatised.

Judge Burn said it would take some time for the victims to get used to their long term psychological difficulties, but he did not think they would ever get over them.

Barrister Conor Quinn, for Kirby, submitted there was a charitable and reliable side to his client’s character and his conviction would have a profound impact on his family.