AN apparently “saintly” teacher and charity boss who serially abused vulnerable Kenyan street children had his sentence slashed by top judges.

Simon Harris, 56, ran a successful teaching charity in a remote region of Kenya and was said to have “revolutionised” education there, London’s Appeal Court heard yesterday.

But Harris, of Pudleston, near Leominster, used his charity work as camouflage for twisted sex acts against Kenyan boys who came to him for help.

The deviant, who had also abused teenage boys at an English public school, molested some of his Kenyan victims under the pretext of giving them baths.

He was handed a total sentence of 17 years and four months at Birmingham Crown Court in February after being convicted of eight counts of indecent or sexual assault against five Kenyan youngsters, as well as four charges of possessing indecent photos of children.

Harris also admitted a string of indecent assaults committed against three teenagers in the UK over 20 years ago.

His crimes were first exposed by a Channel 4 documentary team, which had gone to Kenya to look into his charity work.

The judge who sentenced Harris said he had used his “hallowed” image to exploit his victims - who suffered immense psychological damage, However, the case reached the Appeal Court yesterday as Harris’ legal team challenged his punishment, claiming it was far too harsh.

The sentence failed to reflect the good work done by Harris over the years, they argued.

Mr Justice Cooke, sitting with Lord Justice Simon and Sir John Royce, agreed there was “some force in these submissions”.

“Notwithstanding the breach of trust and the vulnerability of his victims the overall period was excessive”, he ruled.

Harris’s total sentence was cut to 15 years, of which he will serve half before qualifying for release on license.