August 2023

Predator jailed for preying on teenage girls in Sussex

A predator who targeted and raped young girls has been jailed for rape and sexual offences.

Sol Barrett took one of the victims who had been assaulted back to his own home in Crawley rather than to hospital.

He also groomed a young second victim on social media and lied about his age in order to commit sexual offences.

The 24-year-old admitted the offences when he appeared before Lewes Crown Court on August 7, and has been jailed for a total of 11 years and eight months.

The court was told how Barrett, formerly a retail sales assistant of Halley Close, Broadfield, Crawley, found a teenage girl who had been assaulted in a separate incident on June 17, 2022.

She woke up at Barrett’s address the next morning, and did not know who he was.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, received support from specially-trained officers.

She had sustained injuries from a separate assault the previous night, and these injuries were so serious that they required her to attend hospital the next day.

But upon finding her, Barrett did not take her to hospital, instead he took her back to his address where he committed the rape.

Then on December 18, 2022, the mother of the second victim, who also cannot be identified for legal reasons, reported her concerns about grooming of her teenage daughter on Snapchat by Barrett.

Barrett had lied about his age in messages exchanged on the social media platform, while the victim had informed him of her age.

He was arrested and remanded in custody, charged with three counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 to 15.

The court imposed an extended sentence, which means Barrett must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before he can be considered for release.

He was jailed for seven years and two months for rape, and was jailed for four years and six months for the three counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a child.

The sentences are consecutive, and he will be on licence for a total of 14 years.

Barrett will be a registered sex offender for life and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 15 years.