July 2023

Gloucester man jailed for six years and six months after grooming child online

A police team dedicated to protecting children have helped put a paedophile behind bars after he groomed a 12-year-old girl online.

Stewart Barnett was 42 when he posed as a 19-year-old and sent messages to the child on different social media sites and over text.

He has now been jailed for six years and six months following an investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Child Sexual Exploitation Team.

Barnett had been messaging the victim for a number of months last year and asked her to carry out sexual acts on herself.

He asked her to video these and send them to him, and he also sent the child images and videos of himself masturbating.

Police were informed and Barnett, now aged 43 and from Longlevens, Gloucester was arrested and charged.

He admitted two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity – penetration, and one count of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity – no penetration.

At a hearing on 25 May Barnett also admitted making indecent images of a child (the victim), namely 20 images and four videos in category A, 28 images and 29 videos in category B and 190 images and 9 videos in category C.

He was sentenced at Gloucester Crown Court on Monday 26 June to six years and six months in custody.

Barnett was also given a restraining order for 10 years, a sexual harm prevention order for 15 years and he was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.