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Child rapist Jamie Kennedy, from Herne Bay, jailed for 17 years as victims tell of impact | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing


A “devious and conniving” child rapist brought to justice by his fiancée after she discovered naked photos of young girls on his phone has been jailed for 17 years.

A judge told paedophile Jamie Kennedy, who targeted his victims over a period spanning almost a quarter of a century, that his behaviour was “the definition of a predator” and should serve as a warning to female children and parents.

Sexual predator Jamie Kennedy, from Herne Bay, has been jailed for 17 years

The 41-year-old showed no emotion as he learned his fate on Friday and was told he must serve at least two-thirds before he can apply for parole.

Once released he will then have a further three years added to any licence period.

Kennedy, of Herne Bay, was convicted in July of a catalogue of depraved offences including rape, sexual activity with children, and possessing indecent images following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.

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Jurors heard his grooming of a series of girls aged between 11 and 16 involved him plying them with “expensive and extravagant” gifts, making promises of a modelling career, and then blackmailing them with threats of posting images they had sent him on social media.

He posed online as a 13-year-old boy when targeting his youngest victim and as a photographer with another.

The judge said pre-conceptions about ‘typical’ paedophiles allowed Jamie Kennedy to slip under the radar

One girl told how Kennedy messaged her and initially engaged in flirty chat. But he then threatened to share screenshots of their exchanges with her parents unless she did what he asked.

She felt forced to meet him, the court was told, only to be repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by him in his car while parked up in a country lane.

After Kennedy was arrested and charged, a report of his impending court case led to another victim coming forward.

She had met the sexual predator 20 years earlier when she was just 13 and was molested by him while a relative lay passed out drunk just metres away.

Even while under police investigation, an undeterred Kennedy had coerced another young girl into engaging in sexual activity.

Amy with her newborn shortly after she discovered her daughter’s father was a paedophile

At trial he denied all the allegations, callously claiming one victim had “jumped on the bandwagon” after seeing the news of his arrest.

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Kennedy, who at one time lived opposite a children’s park on Herne Bay seafront, even outrageously accused his partner – who KentOnline previously agreed to simply refer to her as Amy – of committing the crimes, branding her “100% evil”.

Having made the horrific discovery of the indecent images sent to Kennedy via Instagram just a few days after giving birth to their daughter in 2016, she had the courage to download all his deviant communications and then alerted police.

The court heard her quick-thinking proved right when, having been confronted with one of the images, he snatched the phone from her hand and snapped it in half in a bid to destroy evidence.

Amy also made investigating officers aware of one of his victims, having inadvertently found out about her at a barbecue and, when that lead was not followed up, she encouraged the girl to report it herself.

‘As you sit there today you should be thoroughly ashamed of the way you have lived your life and the humiliation that you have brought upon your family…’

Kennedy was eventually arrested and told officers his messaging of children on social media was for research purposes for an online safety app.

However, he was later forced to admit this was untrue when he was confronted with the fact he had only registered the business under the name ‘Keyword’ the day after he was caught.

The jury also saw through his “elaborate” lies and unanimously convicted him of six charges of rape, five of sexual activity with a child, three relating to indecent images of children and two offences of causing or attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity.

Sentencing Kennedy at the same court, Judge Simon Taylor KC said the case “could serve as an education to all female children and their parents about the dangers of sexual predators”.

“As someone who has worked in the criminal justice system for 25 years I know there is no ‘look’ to a sexual predator, or ‘type’ of sexual predator,” he told the paedophile in the packed courtroom.

Rapist Jamie Kennedy, from Herne Bay, targeted his victims over a period spanning almost 25 years

“Sadly, however, a huge number of pre-conceptions remain in the public domain and it was those pre-conceptions that enabled you to slip under the radar and continue to abuse for decades.

“Having observed you during the trial, and observed your pitiful lies and evasions in evidence, it is plain to me that you are an utterly superficial man.

“However, it is equally plain that you are a skilled manipulator with a sexual interest in children.

“What this means is that to the young and naive and/or vulnerable you were able to present yourself as a successful, youthful, well-presented gentleman, able to exude superficial charm and empathy – just the sort of man that young or vulnerable people would welcome into their life in the hope that you would add to their life experiences.

“However, instead of doing so you used your ability to fake success, charm and empathy to sexually abuse children.”

‘It is equally plain that you are a skilled manipulator with a sexual interest in children…’

Remarking on how Kennedy had also exploited his victims’ vulnerability and how he was eventually brought to justice, Judge Taylor continued: “It becomes plain that your behaviour demonstrated a deep-seated contempt for females generally.

“So perhaps the one gratifying thing about this very sad case is that it was principally the determination of some of the females who had been mistreated by you that led to your much-delayed downfall.

“Their persistence showed the sort of characteristics that you are so sadly lacking – bravery, self-sacrifice and above all else moral courage and integrity.

“As you sit there today you should be thoroughly ashamed of the way you have lived your life and the humiliation that you have brought upon your family.

“As you serve your prison sentence you should reflect on the behaviour of people who have behaved better than you in the hope that you can emulate that behaviour and achieve some sort of rehabilitation.”

Jamie Kennedy was described by the judge as “an utterly superficial man”

Kennedy was also made subject to an indefinite restraining order and sexual harm prevention order.

Prosecutor Nina Ellin KC read out several victim impact statements. One victim of how she had had “a gut instinct” Kennedy had other victims but did not realise the true extent of his offending until she saw the report of his case on KentOnline.

She told police: “I didn’t in my wildest dreams think he could be this evil. He is a dangerous, manipulative, calculating man.”

The mother of one girl described how her once “outgoing and joy of a daughter” was now “struggling with life and angry with everything”.

She continued: “The damage the defendant has done to my child is irreparable and she is suffering with a great amount of hatred towards the world.

‘Their persistence showed the sort of characteristics that you are so sadly lacking – bravery, self-sacrifice and above all else moral courage and integrity…’

“It is heartbreaking for any parent to see and experience this in their own child. Our lives have been turned upside down.

“No one should suffer the way my family is suffering, especially at the hands of a predatory monster.”

Kennedy’s ex-fiancee Amy also provided a statement in which she described how she had “lost her future” when she made the shocking discovery.

Describing how she still lived in fear of Kennedy and would be “constantly looking over her shoulder”, she said the impact of what she had seen on his phone in 2016 had affected her mental health and led to flashbacks.

“After seven years all I want is to live my life with my husband and children and not live in fear, being able to leave my house and being able to enjoy being a mother,” she added.

Jamie Kennedy was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Taylor described her actions to be those of a “fine and protective mother and a responsible citizen – a woman who was prepared to, and did, turn her world upside down to do the right thing” to protect her child and bring Kennedy to justice.

John Barker, defending, told the court Kennedy now accepted responsibility and had shown remorse and regret.

“This is too little too late but it’s still there and there should be some encouragement that he has made those concessions,” said Mr Barker.

But the judge dismissed it as being “self-serving rather than mitigation”, having put his victims through the trauma of giving evidence and now accepting his guilt knowing the court would be considering any future risk he posed.

The court also heard that a probation report prepared on him for sentencing was done so under the misconception Kennedy had pleaded guilty – and that he did not correct this error when interviewed.

‘It is heartbreaking for any parent to see and experience this in their own child. Our lives have been turned upside down…’

Judge Taylor told Kennedy: “Your offending was unusually grave. It spanned decades and involved multiple child victims being sexually abused, sometimes by manipulation and by taking advantage of their naivety but also on occasion by blackmail.

“Your behaviour was as insidious as it was damaging and it will have had a profound effect on the lives of each of the children involved.

“I have no doubt that your actions would have brought the innocence of their childhood to an abrupt end. Something irreplaceable and unique, and all for what? Your sexual gratification.

“What that offending was, was you. It was what you did and it was who you are.”

Judge Taylor added that by reason of Kennedy’s “devious, selfish and destructive” offending, he had “unhesitatingly” found Kennedy to be a dangerous offender and therefore an extended sentence was necessary as he posed a significant risk of serious harm in the future.



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