‘Dangerous’ south Essex paedophile jailed after child subjected to 'horrific ordeal'

Jailed - Keith Ruggles <i>(Image: Newsquest / Canva)</i>
Jailed - Keith Ruggles (Image: Newsquest / Canva)

A “DANGEROUS” paedophile who subjected a child to an "horrific ordeal" in south Essex has been jailed for 28 years.

Keith Ruggles, 75, previously from Stratford, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday, where he was sentenced for non-recent sexual offences against a child.

An investigation into Ruggles was launched in June 2022 after Essex Police received a report of non-recent sexual abuse against a child in south Essex.

At the time of the report, Ruggles was in prison, serving a 21-year sentence for a separate sexual offence investigation.

By January 2023, Ruggles was charged with rape of a child under 13, three counts of assault by penetration of a child under 13 and sexual touching of a child under 13.

In March 2023, he then pleaded guilty to all counts.

On Thursday, April 18, 2024, Ruggles was sentenced to 28 years in prison to run concurrently with his previous sentence.

The judge ordered him to serve a minimum of 20 years, meaning he won’t be eligible for parole until he’s 96.

PC Jane Grieve said “This victim has conducted herself with dignity throughout this investigation and she should be extremely proud of the strength she has shown.

“No one should ever have to go through this, and I hope that she is able to put this horrific ordeal behind her, knowing that Ruggles will be behind bars for an extremely long time.”

Det Supt Neil Pudney added: “Keith Ruggles is a dangerous man who will now behind bars for a very long time.

“I have no doubt that the strength of the case built by PC Jane Grieve and her colleagues in our Child Abuse Investigation Team gave Ruggles no other choice but to plead guilty.

“This week alone, our Crime and Public Protection Team have put perpetrators behind bars for a combined total of more than 50 years and I am so proud of the work they do every day to protect vulnerable people.

“At Essex Police, we are achieving better results than ever when it comes to investigating non-recent sexual offences.

“I hope, that if this is read by anyone who may think that too much time has passed to report what happened to them, that this isn’t the case. Please report and we will continue to work closely with our partners to support you.”