May 2022

Mum of 11-year-old girl ‘upskirted’ by pervert saddened at wait for justice

The mother of an 11-year-old girl who was ‘upskirted’ by a vile paedophile has expressed her disappointment at the length of time it took to bring him to justice.

The little girl’s mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the actions of Michael Baron from Blackburn had a “profound effect” on her daughter, who, some four years after the incident, still refuses to play out with her friends or wear skirts without having shorts on underneath.

Baron, 48, was handed a suspended sentence at a hearing in Preston Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to three counts of outraging public decency, and two counts of making category C indecent images.

It followed an incident in which he ‘stalked’ the youngster and her mum while they were out Christmas shopping in Blackburn in 2018.

The victim’s mother said: “It’s taken a long time to get this to court and I am deeply saddened due to the fact that it’s taken so long.

“He would’ve faced far heavier prosecution if it hadn’t taken so long to get here because of Covid and the whole situation with the pandemic.

“We were out Christmas shopping in Blackburn in December 2018 and he was practically stalking us for a long period of time as we shopped.

“He waited until there was no-one around, but it could all be seen on CCTV.

“He waited till there was no-one in the aisles and then crouched down and hidden under his sleeve was a mobile phone.

“He tried to slide his hand across the floor to take a picture and film up my daughter’s skirt.

“I noticed this and pulled her away and went to get the security staff but he just casually walked out of the shop, but it was all seen on CCTV.

“Then he went into other shops in the town centre and was caught on CCTV doing the same thing to a number of other young girls wearing school uniforms.”

The youngster’s mother said Baron’s actions had taken her little girl’s innocence away.

She continued: “It’s taken my daughter’s innocence away.

“She doesn’t play out with her friends, she doesn’t play out on the streets, she doesn’t go to the park.

“For the last four years she has worn a pair of shorts under her skirt and is so frightened of it happening again.

“She won’t wear a dress or a skirt and only wears tracksuit bottoms.

“It’s had a huge mental impact on her.

“The judge even said he still considers him a danger to children, especially those wearing school uniforms.

“I just think people have a right to know who he is and what he’s done.”

Baron, of Wilworth Crescent, Blackburn, was handed a 12 month prison sentence suspended for 20 months, ordered to carry out 50 rehabilitation activity days, ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, pay £500 in court costs within 28 days and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.