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  1. ITV Report

Paedophile convicted of 1968 sex attack

Keith Ryman, previously known as Keith Leggett Credit: North Yorkshire Police

A paedophile already serving a 16-year prison sentence has been jailed for a further two-and-a-half years for sexually assaulting a girl more than 50 years ago under a different name.

Keith Ryman, aged 76, was found guilty of the offence committed in the York area in 1968.

While still going by his former name of Keith Leggett, the court heard that Ryman befriended the girl’s parents and offered to care for her on an evening when she became ill.

He isolated her and sexually assaulted her in her bedroom.

The crime came to light when the victim underwent therapy 50 years later and recounted the events to her counsellor.

North Yorkshire Police were informed by the victim in March 2018 and an investigation commenced.

Initially detectives believed that Keith Leggett was deceased, but enquiries revealed that in 1980 he had changed his name by deed poll to Keith Ryman.

When Ryman was identified he was found to be awaiting trial on numerous child sex offences for which he was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment at York Crown Court in October 2018.

He pleaded not guilty to the new charge and gave evidence in his own defence, denying this offence and also those crimes for which he was already serving a prison sentence.

The victim, her counsellor, family members and a family friend gave evidence for the prosecution.

The jury found Ryman guilty after around two hours of deliberation.

In 1968, Keith Leggett carried out a cowardly attack on a young child for his own sexual gratification leaving her to carry the burden of this secret for 50 years.

This has had a marked effect on her life and it was very courageous of her to enter a court and give evidence against him.

North Yorkshire Police will investigate all reports of sexual offences against children. This case highlights our commitment to bringing paedophiles to justice wherever possible, regardless of the passage of time.

The reasons why Keith Leggett changed his name to Keith Ryman in 1980 are still unclear but are obviously a cause for concern, given that he went on to commit further sexual assaults on other children before being brought to justice in 2018."

– Detective Constable John Atkinson, North Yorkshire Police