March 2008

Pervert jailed for string of sexual assaults with teenager

A paedophile who left a 14-year old girl “damaged and paranoid” after a string of sexual assaults has been jailed for 15 months.

Sydney Barnes, 59, of Greenwalk, Stretford, molested his victim in the 1980s but was not taken to court until 20 years later.

Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester heard he tried to shift the blame for his conduct on to the complainant.

Barnes was cleared of rape by a jury but pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault, claiming that all sexual intercourse had been consensual.

Passing sentence Judge Andrew Lowcock condemned Barnes for trying to avoid responsibility for his crimes.

“You have in my view consistently tried to shift the blame for your behaviour onto the victim,” he said.

“There was an imbalance of power in your relationship with the girl and you abused that trust to satisfy your own sexual desires.”

“The law exists to protect young people in these situations from their own immaturity.”

As well as serving a 15 month prison sentence Barnes will be put on the sex offenders register for ten years.

In mitigation defence counsel Andrew Nuttall claimed the case was an unusual one, and that Barnes would have been prepared to admit to his crimes had they been reported when they first took place.

“The defendant has always accepted his criminality before any complaint was made and before the police were involved,” said Mr Nuttall. “He has not sought to deny involvement.

“These offences can be seen to be quite extraordinary and out of character for this defendant. In all other respects he is a hard-working decent member of society.”