May 14, 2022 9.15 am This story is over 24 months old

Lincoln man spared jail despite appalling history of child sex abuse

A loophole in the law meant he walked free

Despite a catalogue of sex crimes against children, a 63-year-old Lincoln man has walked free from the docks this week.

Steven Kelsey, of Canwick Road in Lincoln, formerly of Hartlepool, sexually abused three children when he was a teenager, reports Hartlepool Mail.

He pleaded guilty to numerous offences at Teeside Crown Court, but a loophole in the law meant he was spared jail.

Judge Christopher Smith was quoted, describing the case as one of ‘the most tragic’ he had heard, but said he was limited in the sentencing because Kelsey could ‘only be dealt with according to the law at the time,’ when he was a juvenile.

The maximum sentence for indecent assault would have been six months in prison.

Instead, the judge gave him a three-year community order with supervision and 30 rehabilitation days.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same length and given an indefinite restraining order against the victims, according to the report from court.

Emotional testimonies were heard in court from the Lincoln man’s victims, who are said to have suffered trauma and mental distress as a result of his crimes.

One said: “He took my childhood and sanity away.”

Judge Smith said that if Kelsey was jailed he would be released in weeks with a “worrying lack” of supervision from the probation service. The alternative sentence would ‘give greater reassurance to victims and the wider community.’