‘Cyber sex pervert’, 24, walks free after judge rules HE was seduced by a girl aged just 13
A judge has been criticised for allowing a child sex pervert to walk free from court after accepting that the defendant had been 'seduced' by a 13-year-old.David Barnes, 24, engaged in 'cyber-sex' with a 13-year-old schoolgirl and downloaded hundreds of pornographic pictures and short films - one of which showed the rape of a handcuffed five-year-old girl.
But Judge Peter Fox QC said a short prison sentence would not prevent him from reoffending.
A national victims' group hit out saying it was 'intellectually, ethically, morally' wrong to lay any blame on the 13-year-old girl and described the sentencing as 'abhorrent'.
Judge Fox admitted people would be 'puzzled to say the least' at his decision.
Shop worker Barnes could have been jailed up to six months, but was allowed discount on his punishment because he pleaded guilty to the charges and was of previous good character.
Barnes, of Darlington, admitted 17 specimen charges of making indecent images and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The 24-year-old was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with supervision and 300 hours of unpaid work for the community.
He was also told by the judge that a sex offender treatment programme he was placed upon was not available to him behind bars.
'Many people must be puzzled to say the very least at the leniency of the guideline sentencing,' the judge said.
'I, of course, express no view. If I sent you to prison it would be for a matter of a few weeks only, hence, as I say, the puzzlement that many people would have about that.
'The weeks you wound spend in prison would do nothing to stop you doing this again. My concern is for the future - the protection of other children.'
Guidelines suggest community sentences for inciting children to engage in sexual activity and up to ten years in jail for the most serious pornography.
Ruling: Judge Peter Fox admitted people would be 'puzzled' by his decision
Last night, a spokesman for the National Victims Association described it as 'abhorrent' that Barnes should, 'in effect, go unpunished'.
Teesside Crown Court heard how Barnes was arrested at his family home in October 2009 following an operation carried out by Staffordshire Police.
Operation Bamboo officers were investigating chat-room conversations a 13-year-old girl from Stoke was having with a number of adult males.
When they raided Barnes's home, they recovered computers containing 39 indecent images and movies of children - some in the most serious category.
Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said one short film was of a five-year-old girl being raped as she had her legs strapped to a bar and her wrists in handcuffs.
During the chat-room conversations, the teenager was encouraged to do intimate things while Barnes watched on a web-cam.
Kieran Rainey, mitigating, said the girl encouraged Barnes - then aged 22 - by saying she liked older people, but accepted he should have 'disengaged'.
Mr Rainey said his client had a small circle of friends - as the son of a career army officer who moved around the country - and 'character flaws'.
Judge Fox said it was difficult to reconcile the hard-working and highly thought-of young man written of in references with a child sex fiend.
He said: 'I accept it has been a dreadful shock to your mother, to your father and to your grandmother and to those others who have known you.
'And in addition (to the images), there was your perverted activities over the internet with the 13-year-old, who, I accept, appears to have seduced you.'
Teesside Crown Court heard police recovered computers containing 39 indecent images and movies of children from Barnes's home
Last night, the National Victims Association described as 'incomprehensible' the suggestion that the girl could have seduced Barnes.
Spokesman Neil Atkinson said: 'Thirteen-year-olds have to be protected. It goes without saying, they are children.
'Intellectually, ethically and legally, this girl - or anyone of that age - could not possibly have been on the same level as a man in his 20s.
'The judge is right, however, when he says most people will be disturbed by an adult receiving a suspended sentence for engaging in activity such as this.
'It is abhorrent that anyone in their 20s should, in effect, go unpunished for something that could have led to a far more serious offence.
'Intellectually, ethically, morally and in every other way you can't point the finger at a 13-year-old and blame her. She is no match for a 22-year-old.'
Read more: 'Cyber sex pervert', 24, walks free after judge rules he was seduced by girl, 13 | Mail Online
FFS, are we going backwards in time or something? With some of the comments from judges and moronics excusers lately I'm beginning to think so. Rape is rape regardless of dress, a child can not consent to sexual activity and the responsibility lies with the guilty party and not the victim. Gaaaah!!