March 2004

Paedophile jailed for attacks on young girl

A MAN who committed a string of sex attacks on a young girl has been locked up for four and a half years.

Barry Helsby, aged 33, of Crown Street, Newton-le-Willows, was jailed after earlier being found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of 10 counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency.

The charges related to the abuse of a girl when she was aged between five and nine. Now a teenager, she gave evidence during the trial via video link.

Following the sentence, her stepfather told how his stepdaughter and family could finally try to move on with their lives. He said: “It’s been a very tough time for us. She (the victim) has not wanted to go out and my wife has not wanted to go to town. It is a relief. She had been in limbo but she can now rebuild her life.”

But despite the stress, he said they never thought of dropping the case. He said: “You’ve just got to be confident in your case and look to the future. I don’t think he’ll ever come back to live in this town.”

Helsby, who had denied the charges, was also placed on a two-year licence following his release. He was banned from working with children and was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.