Friday, June 26, 2009

Terrence O'Keefe - Repeat Sex Offender - Murdered elderly man after escape

O'Keefe, 39, from Liverpool, strangled 73-year-old David Kemp in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in March last year and then stole his television to raise money to buy drugs.
O'Keefe, who denied murder, had escaped from a unit in London where he was serving a life sentence imposed in 1996 for rape and robbery.
He gave his guard the slip while having hospital treatment, then travelled to Great Yarmouth, where he lived for several weeks.

Graham Parkins QC, prosecuting, told Norwich Crown Court that he adopted a false name, twice contacted police and claimed benefits.

A spokesman for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said O'Keefe's escape "should not have happened" and apologised unreservedly.
He said: "We would like to offer our sincere condolences to all those affected by David Kemp's death. Terrence O'Keefe absconded from an acute hospital, where he had been taken for medical treatment, while under escort by our staff. It should not have happened - and we apologise for that unreservedly.
"Immediately after the incident, and since, we initiated major improvements and have strengthened the arrangements for transferring medium secure unit patients to acute hospital for treatment."

Mr Kemp, described as a "vulnerable" pensioner whose only company was a cat, was strangled with a belt.

Police initially suspected he had killed himself in some sort of "auto-erotic scenario".

The cover of a pornographic video was found near the body - though the pensioner's television and the contents of the video were missing.

There was a gap on a cabinet surrounded by a ring of dust suggesting the spot where the television had been.

The escaped prisoner was not afraid to "show out" while on the run, Mr Parkins said.

Using the false name James Daniels, O'Keefe gave police a witness statement about an incident near where he was living.

He also went to Norwich's main police station to make a false report alleging a rucksack had been stolen.

Police noted the complaint and gave him a document on headed notepaper containing the false name and other false details.
O'Keefe was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court in September 1991 of robbery and having sex with an under-age girl and given a 57-month custodial sentence.
In June 1996 at the Old Bailey he was given a life term - with a recommendation he should serve at least 10 years - for rape, false imprisonment and robbery.
In September 2008 at Inner London Crown Court, he was given a 18-month term for escaping from custody.

Police said they reviewed the case but did not feel substantial mistakes were made.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Strong, who led the inquiry, said: "Investigations are not always as simple as they seem and initially there was not enough evidence to show that Mr Kemp had been murdered. When a witness came forward with new information, a new investigation was begun which led to O'Keefe being charged."

Mr Justice Saunders adjourned sentencing to a date to be fixed. It is likely to be at Nottingham Crown Court in September.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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