June 2022

Basildon paedophile Liam Barnett avoids jail

A paedophile caught with a catalogue of vile indecent images and videos, including young boys being sexually abused and bestiality, has avoided jail.

Liam Barnett, 66, was sent was sent hundreds of images via a Whatsapp message group and was arrested after a raid by police at his home in November 2019.

Basildon Crown Court heard yesterday he had 122 of the worst kind of images stored on his phone.

Prosecuting, Harry Hewitt, said police had searched Barnett’s home in Long Lynderswood, Basildon, after a tip off he was using the internet to look at extreme images.

Mr Hewitt told the court that detectives found images of boys as young as two-years-old being sexually abused.

Images of bestiality were also discovered on the phone.

Barnett was charged with three counts of making indecent photographs of children and one count of possessing extreme pornographic images.

He admitted the offences at a previous court hearing.

Barnett was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for possessing the most extreme images.

He was also ordered to pay a fine of £500, complete 10 days of rehabilitation requirement activity, was given a curfew between 7pm and 7am for two months, and placed under a notification requirement order and sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.

There was no separate penalties for the other charges.

Judge Samantha Cohen, said: “Some of these pictures are the worse category of images and you say you were part of a group with hundreds of others which was not mostly for sexual images or matters.

“Due to your membership in the group these images were sent to you and you opened them, therefore committing the offences.