Sex offender accused of attempted teen kidnap

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A SEX offender is on trial accused of a string of offences including trying to kidnap a 13-year-old girl.

Heckmondwike barber Roy Barton, 30, who has previously admitted exposing himself, is said to have tried to drag the girl into his car after becoming frustrated when other girls he approached ignored him.

At an earlier hearing he pleaded guilty to 11 breaches of a sexual offences prevention order made following his conviction for exposure – but denied a further six, plus one charge of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and the charge of attempted kidnap, all between last October 28 and January 9.

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Prosecutor Nicholas Askins told Leeds Crown Court on Monday a man, allegedly Barton, jumped out and grabbed the 13-year-old girl as she was passing his car parked in Middleton, Leeds, at 2.20pm on January 9. She screamed and a passer-by ran over. Mr Askins said: “The man said, ‘just leave her, she’s being silly. She knows me, I’m picking her up from school’.

“The other man pulled her away and the driver then sped off and the victim carried on – but the man caught up with her again, saying, ‘just come with me, what are you being silly for?’ She told him, ‘I don’t know you, go away’, and ran towards a man walking nearby, who walked her home before contacting police, giving a description.”

Mr Askins also told the jury that on December 5 last year Barton had performed a sex act while watching a pornographic film on his mobile phone in the sight of a 12-year-old girl walking in Middleton. The girl ran into a house nearby and Barton fled.

He is also accused of following two 14-year-old girls in his car, and harassing another girl, 19, on three separate occasions – one just minutes after the attempted kidnap.

He was arrested on January 9 after his car and number plate were spotted by police, who followed him before he pulled over.

While he was in the police car further details about the attempted kidnapping came over the radio, including a description matching his.

He was arrested and said, ‘this is a big crime, ain’t it’. But in court he told the jury he said that because police had already told him about the crime.

However he admitted that half an hour before the attempted kidnap he was driving round the same area looking at girls.

He said he had approached girls in Heckmondwike, Birstall, Leeds and Wakefield, driving near them and smiling to get a reaction.

He said he did not think he was breaching his order, and was doing it to make himself ‘feel better’ and he ‘couldn’t really stop’.

He added: “I was trying to control myself. I was going on a course – these were lapses. I was having some difficulty with other things – this took my mind off it.

“I didn’t think I would have harassed anybody.”

Barton’s Heckmondwike barbers’ shop is now under new management.

The jury was expected to retire today to consider its verdict. Visit our website, www.spenboroughguardian.com for the result.