Friday 12 April 2024
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Nottinghamshire man groomed and sexually assaulted three teenagers

A man who groomed and sexually assaulted three teenage girls has been jailed.

Richard Barlow, who targeted the girls over several years, was exposed in July 2020 when police were informed of a sexual relationship he had previously had with a child.

Barlow, aged 39, was arrested the following day and denied all the allegations against him.

Further investigations revealed another victim who had also been groomed and exploited in similar ways to the other girls, with Barlow praising her repeatedly before making sexual advances.

Detailed analysis of Barlow’s mobile phone uncovered videos he had filmed of himself committing some of his crimes against two of the victims.

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The phone also contained aggressive text messages from Barlow pressuring one of them not to report anything to police.

Another exchange was uncovered in which Barlow even discussed the date of birth of one of his victims – proving that he knew exactly how old she was at the time of his offending.

A third girl explained how Barlow had assaulted her and another of the victims after plying them with class A drugs – leaving them incapacitated and unable to consent to sexual activity.

Despite the weight of evidence uncovered by police, Barlow denied all the allegations against him.

He continued his denials during a five-day trial at Nottingham Crown Court in February, but was found guilty by a jury of four counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of making indecent images of a child.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court today (Wednesday 13 April) he was jailed for 15 years. He will also spend a further three years on license when he is released.

Barlow, of Mansfield Woodhouse, was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order that will tightly restrict his access to children and his online activities once he is released.

Detective Constable Richard Howe, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Barlow exploited girls who were less than half his age. As we revealed during our investigation, he knew full-well that what he was doing was wrong but carried on with his offending regardless.

“His victims, who have shown enormous courage and dignity during this process, must live every day with the memory not only of what Barlow did to them, but also of the crown court trial he forced them to sit through as he attempted to defend the indefensible.

“I am pleased that he has finally been exposed for what he is and hope this case also serves as a reminder to other men who think they can get away with abusing children. All it takes is one call to the police for them to be exposed and shamed for what they are.”

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