A man has been convicted of sexually assaulting three girls in Saffron Walden over the course of a decade.

Anthony Kamau, 51, from Saffron Walden, was originally arrested in February 2019 after the offences came to light.

He had sexually abused three children over the course of 10 years between 2006 and 2016.

Kamau was charged with two counts of assault by touching, four counts of engaging in non-penetrative sexual activity with a girl, and one count of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity.

Kamau fled the country after his first court hearing. Police had seized his passport but he had managed to obtain an emergency identity document to fly.

Caroline Horden, who led the investigation, managed to track him down to a place of work outside the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

She then worked tirelessly with partner agencies to secure his extradition, and he was returned to the UK in July last year.

Kamau, formerly of Winstanley Road, denied the charges against him, but was found guilty of all seven charges at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Monday, April 3).

He is due to be sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, June 14.

The case was investigated by Essex Police's Quest team, which investigates non-recent child abuse.

Caroline Horden said: "I want to pay tribute to the courage demonstrated by the victims in the case to come forward and tell us what happened.

"They have been subjected to an ordeal no child should ever have to experience.

"Anthony Kamau is a prolific offender who poses a risk to children but now faces time behind bars.

"He tried to flee the country and evade justice but you cannot hide from Essex Police, no matter how you try.

"No conviction will ever reverse the damage he has caused but I hope this result will help those affected move forward."

The Quest team investigate cases where the victim was a child at the time of the abuse but is now an adult, and which took place more than 12 months ago.


Detective Sergeant Shirly Cole, who leads Quest, said: "Caroline’s work in this case was exemplary, working hard with partner agencies to trace Kamau when he fled and then to bring him back to the UK to face justice.

"Her work highlights the tireless effort from the team to secure justice for victims.

"People worry that they won't be believed and that because it happened a long time ago in come cases, it won't be taken seriously or investigated.

"They also worry about the impact it will have on their family or feel embarrassed or ashamed when clearly they're not to blame.

"If you report a crime to us, you will be listened to, you will be supported and there will be a thorough investigation.

"It can take time to bring these investigations to court, but we are now beginning to see a lot of our cases coming to trial.

"It doesn’t matter when an offence took place, you deserve justice and we’re to help you achieve that."