December 2010

Watford paedophile jailed for rape of nine-year-old in India

A Watford paedophile will serve at least seven years in jail for the repeated sexual abuse of a poverty-stricken girl in India.

Barry McCloud, 54, raped the nine-year-old and carried out a variety of depraved sexual assaults on her during several visits to Goa between 2005 and 2007.

St Albans Crown Court heard he heavily drugged the girl, making her undress and dance for him, before repeatedly sexually assaulting her while she lay stupefied by the sedatives.

McCloud, of Tudor Walk, recorded the assaults on his video camcorder and digital camera, both unearthed by police during a raid on his Watford home in September 2007.

The court heard that, while on a holiday to Goa in 1998, McCloud and his ex-wife had befriended the girl’s family and offered to sponsor her brother to pay for his education.

They made yearly visits back to India to visit the family but, when their marriage broke down in 2002, McCloud returned to the country alone, leading to him carrying out the abuse.

The court heard he would take the family presents and would ask for the girl to be driven to his holiday apartment, where she would stay the night alone.

Sentencing at St Albans Crown Court today, Judge Marie Catterson said: “It required careful forethought, planning and preparation from you to have the girl delivered to you and to have armed yourself with the drugs to sedate her. You took the calculated decision in each instance to film what you were doing and this can only have been done for you own future sexual gratification.

“You targeted an especially vulnerable and impoverished child in a poor region whose family relied upon you for their son’s education. What you did was of course a gross abuse of trust but it can be more accurately described as an abuse of power

Judge Catterson added that there was no evidence the footage or images had been distributed either in the UK or abroad.

McCloud’s arrest came as a result of investigations by Hertfordshire Constabulary into child pornography sites, one of which McCloud had subscribed to using his credit card.

During a raid on his home in September 2007, his computer was seized, leading to the discovery of 91 indecent images involving children, 61 images of his abuse of the girl in India, and the camcorder films.

Exhaustive investigations led by Hertfordshire Constabulary and involving a number of organisations both in the UK and India over a period of more than two years led to his conviction.

It is the first time anyone in Hertfordshire has been tried for sexual offences carried out abroad.

McCloud initially denied all knowledge of the images and, when he was shown the video footage from his camera of a man raping the sedated young girl, he claimed it was part of a blackmail campaign by an Indian policeman.

Only later, after expert analysis confirmed it was McCloud in the video footage, did he plead guilty to 20 counts of the abuse of a nine-year-old girl.

Judge Catterson said the Watford man posed a real danger to children due to his ability to conceal his behaviour and appear as a lawful, respectable individual.

He was given a life sentence with a tariff of 18 years, reduced to 14 for his guilty plea, and was told he will serve at least seven years before he is considered for parole.

McCloud will also be monitored for the rest of his life and can never leave the country without the permission of his supervising officer.