‘Out-of control’ sex offender is jailed

Roy Barton.'Attempted child abduction story.
Roy Barton.'Attempted child abduction story.

A ‘CALCULATING and predatory’ sex offender from Heckmondwike has been jailed for five years after being found guilty of attempting to abduct a 13-year-old girl.

Roy Barton, 30, was found guilty earlier this month of the attempted kidnap in Middleton, Leeds, on January 9 this year.

He was also found guilty of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and five counts of breaching a previously imposed sexual prevention order (SOPO).

Barton, who was living in Westgate at the time of the offences, was cleared of one charge of breaching the SOPO.

Sentencing him on Monday, Judge Scott Wolstenholme said: “One wonders what would have happened if you had got that 13-year-old victim into your car.

“You cruised past her and as she was walking past your car you jumped out, grabbed her by the arm and pulled her towards the car. She screamed and a passer-by came to help and you pretended she knew you and was just being silly.

“He told you to get off and you got back into your car and drove off, but it did not deter you.

“You continued to pursue her and stopped again and told her to come to you. A man saw what was going on, she ran to him and you drove off.”

The court heard that a few minutes later he was bothering another woman and only stopped because the police had heard about the attempted kidnapping and arrested him.

Barton had made several attempts to speak to women in the past, driving in his car and stopping when he saw a girl or woman.

But on January 9 this year, his behaviour was “completely out of control”, and he attempted to abduct the 13-year-old.

In mitigation, Matthew Harding, for Barton, said: “He is an individual who recognises he has problems. He has a lack of emotional attachments and low self-esteem.

“He is clearly capable of addressing his behaviour and is willing to work with the authorities to do that. He says he would do anything to stop as he just wants a normal life.”

Jailing him for five years, the judge said: “You do not fully acknowledge the extent of your offending but you do accept you have a problem and you are intending on addressing that behaviour.”

An order was also made for Barton’s car, used in the crimes, to be forfeited and disposed of. He was told he cannot use any motor vehicle in the future without first informing the police of its registration number.

After the case Det Insp Mark Waine, from City and Holbeck CID, said: “Roy Barton has shown himself to be a calculating and predatory offender who has shown no sign of remorse or empathy to his victims. In court he has admitted lying throughout the course of the investigation and indicated his actions in approaching, soliciting and causing fear to women and girls, is a source of enjoyment and excitement to him.

“His action on January 9 show him to be an increasingly desperate and out-of-control sex offender whose urges ultimately led him to attempting to kidnap a child as she left school.

“Only the courage of the victim and the member of the public who witnessed the incident and intervened prevented this crime from being even more serious. Today’s sentence is testament to the painstaking nature of the investigation which traced a significant number of victims and incidents to reveal the concerted and disturbing nature of Barton’s offending between October 2011 and January 2012.

“It is also the result of the outstanding courage of Barton’s numerous victims who came forward and provided evidence.”