A TRUSTED nurse has been jailed for six years for sex offences he carried out more than two decades ago.
Keith Williams claimed the allegations made against him by three male victims were “figments of their imaginations” and continues to deny any wrongdoing.
The 56-year-old, who was a mental health nurse at Monkwearmouth Hospital in Sunderland, was convicted by a jury, who rejected his protests of innocence, after a trial last month.
Newcastle Crown Court heard yesterday one of his victims, who was just nine when he was targeted and is now an adult, feels his life has been “destroyed” by what Williams done to him.
He said in a victim impact statement: “I am lost, I want someone to help me but I don’t know who can. I don’t know what life holds for me. I want it to be different.
“I had hoped if he got convicted I would feel better, I don’t feel any different. I feel very vulnerable every day of my life.”
Judge John Evans said for the rest of his life Williams must register as a sex offender, abide by a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and will be banned from working with children.
The judge told him: “Having been arrested and interviewed you flatly denied the allegations, saying they were figments of the boys’ imaginations.
“The jury, by their verdict, rejected your denials of committing these offences. With these cases it is always difficult to know precisely how much damage has been done, but damage has been done, undoubtedly, in each case.”
Judge Evans said: “It is evident from the testimonials provided by witnesses in the course of the trial that your performance as a CPN has never been questioned, your integrity in that regard has never been doubted.”
Robert Adams, defending, said Williams was of “positive good character”.
The court heard the sex attacks took place in the 1990s and are not linked to his hospital work.
The three victims gave evidence at the trial, where they were accused of “making up” what had happened to them.
After the trial Williams, of Close Street, Millfield, was found guilty of nine charges of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child in relation to the three victims.
He was found not guilty of eight charges of indecent assault relating to the same victims.
Prosecutor Julian Smith told jurors at the start of the case: “The Crown maintains this abuse took place 20 years or more ago and involved three alleged victims. The Crown alleges this man, Keith Williams, was the person responsible for a persistent course of sexual misconduct. He says none of the alleged incidents occurred and they are simply making it up these boys, now men.”
Williams denied the allegations and read statements from former colleagues and friends relating to his good and trusted character.
One referee said Williams as a man who could put others at ease and described him as being “held in high regard by his peers, other health care professionals, patients and carers”.
A spokesperson from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust said after the conviction: “Keith Williams no longer works for the trust after resigning in April this year.
“It’s important to note that these charges were not related to Mr Williams’ employment with the trust and no patients were at risk. Once charges were brought against Mr Williams he was suspended immediately.”