A WINCHESTER man has been jailed for a string of sex offences against girls as young as six.

Stuart Richard Keay, aged 48, of Baring Close, Itchen Abbas, was found guilty of 15 charges, which included counts of rape, indecent assault, inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency and sexual activity with a child.

It follows a three week trial at Winchester Crown court.

Keay faced 16 charges against him relating to girls aged between six and 17-years-old who he abused in Winchester, Eastleigh and Denmead between 1992 and 2018.

Keay was brought to trial after three victims who had suffered years of abuse at his hands came forward to police last year. Judge Jane Miller QC sentence Keay to 24 years in prison.

Detective Constable Naomi Stocker, who led Operation Amberstone, she said: “This was a huge investigation that took us back to 1992 when Keay’s offending began, right the way to 2018, when his offending finally ceased due the bravery of his victims to speak out.

“This was a truly appalling case of abuse, which took place over many years. I am overwhelmed by the bravery of the victims in coming forward and reporting what had happened to them. I want to commend them and thank them for their help in convicting Keay, a very dangerous and manipulative man. No amount of jail time will make up for what has he has done, but I hope this serves to at least offer the victims some closure, and a chance to move on with their lives.”