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Sexual predator from Tydd Gote jailed

A man from just over the south Lincolnshire border who sexually abused a young girl on regular occasions has been jailed today (Tuesday) for 12 years.

Darren Barnes (47), of Station Road, Tydd Gote, tried to silence his victim by telling her that "God would not forgive her".

A judge at Lincoln Crown Court heard how Barnes repeatedly abused the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, while she was aged between eight and 11.

Gareth Gimson, prosecuting, said the abuse started with Barnes touching the girl's clothing before it progressed to more serious incidents where he asked her to remove her clothes.

The court was told by Mr Gimson that Barnes had also shown the girl pornographic movies and tried to groom her by offering her £40 in cash and giving her a mobile phone.

Barnes' abuse of the girl, which included one incident of oral rape, came to an end when she reached puberty and asked for it to stop.

Mr Gimson said: "He obtained her silence by telling her that she would be in trouble and God would not forgive her."

However, the girl reported the matter to her mother in 2012 but, at the time, said she did not want to say anything.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary became involved in 2014 when Barnes' own wife reported the matter to the church and he made partial admissions.

But the matter did not progress until 2017 when officers found over 200 indecent images of children on two laptops at his home, including movies of children who were clearly distressed and had been tied up.

A victim impact statement from the girl said that she had lost her self-esteem and innocence at a time when she should have been enjoying her childhood.

The court also heard how Barnes, who had no previous convictions, was "disgusted with himself" and did not want his victim to go through the trauma of a trial.

Barnes admitted 11 sexual offences, including indecent assault, indecency with a child, sexual assault of a child under 13 and one offence of rape of a child under 13.

He also admitted three further charges of making indecent images of children.

Passing sentence, Judge John Pini QC told Barnes he had "targeted, groomed and sexually abused" his victim over a four-year period.

As well as the jail term, Barnes was also made the subject of a one-year licence extension to his custodial sentence, a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and must register as a sex offender for life.

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