A Keighley pensioner has been jailed for sexually abusing a six-year-old girl during trips to the Philippines.

Churchgoing Raymond Keeley confessed to his bishop and wanted help with his problems, Bradford Crown Court heard last Thursday.

Keeley, 67, had himself been abused by a teacher when he was a teenager.

Sentencing him to two years’ behind bars, Judge Shaun Spencer QC told Keeley he had used the girl for his sexual pleasure on a number of occasions.

Keeley, of Harewood Rise, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity in court to six sample charges of sexually assaulting a child aged under 13.

Prosecutor Robert Galley said Keeley admitted carrying out about 20 similar offences on three visits to the Philippines.

They came to light after the defendant returned to the UK. He disclosed to his bishop what he had done and was encouraged to tell the authorities. Keeley sought counselling and informed social services and the police.

Mr Galley said the girl would sit on Keeley’s lap and wanted to kiss him, and he allowed himself to get into an abusive situation. The prosecutor said there was no suggestion either was naked during the abuse.

Keeley’s barrister, Sophie Drake, said the defendant was of previous good character.

She added: “While sex offending, particularly against children, is always very serious, this level of offending does fall into the lower end.

“The defendant was extremely remorseful. He felt deep shame and disgust for his behaviour. There is no suggestion he has had interest in children before or since.

“He was sexually abused as a teenager by a teacher, and wonders if there is a link between his experiences as a child and his abuse.”

Judge Spencer said he had received character references, including one from Bishop James Stewart.

The judge added the charges represented examples of a course of conduct. Offences were aggravated by the number of them and the breach of trust.