A British paedophile who fled to Kenya to escape prosecution has been sentenced to five years in jail.
Geoffrey John Fitton, 61, was found guilty by the Shrewsbury Crown Court on August 16 and convicted of four counts of sexual assault of a child aged less than 13 years.
The British court also gave Fitton a lifetime sex offender registration order which means he will be under restriction once he completes the jail term.
According to British prosecutors, a report was made to West Mercia Police on July 30 2016 that Fitton had sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl he had met online.
Fitton was interviewed and summonsed to attend Telford Magistrates' Court on October 23 2017 but he failed to attend and a warrant was issued by the court for his arrest.
It was later established he had travelled to Kenya on October 17 2017 from Heathrow airport. In doing so, he had also breached his notification requirements from a previous sex offender registration order.
In January 2018, West Mercia Police was contacted by the National Crime Agency (NCA) regarding Fitton, who had been arrested by Kenyan authorities.
Following coordination between the NCA, the Crown Prosecution Service, Kenyan authorities and specialist lawyers, three officers from West Mercia Police travelled to Kenya for five days in February this year where they detained Fitton and took him back to the UK to face court proceedings.
He was remanded in prison and denied the charges at Shrewsbury Crown Court on March 19. The matter was then listed for a four-day trial, commencing on August 13, where he was found guilty and subsequently sentenced for the offences.
British prosecutor Mathew Crisp said the case was complex since it involved working closely with law enforcement agencies on an international scale in order to locate and detain Fitton.
“We thank everyone who was involved in this case, including the National Crime Agency and Kenya National Police Transnational Organised Crime Unit. Without their action and support, we would not have been able to secure his arrest and bring him back to the UK to face justice,” he said.
Fitton’s jailing comes barely a month after another Briton, Keith Morris was sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison for defiling underage girls in Kilifi.
Morris, a 72-year-old retired locksmith was sentenced on July 18 for using his power to rape and sexually abuse underage girls in the coastal county.