Child sex offender jailed for life

10/12/2010

A child sex offender who targeted a vulnerable poverty stricken family in India has today (10 December) been jailed for life, to serve a minimum of seven years, at St Albans Crown Court.

Barry McCloud, 54, from Watford, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a series of disturbing child abuse offences involving a young girl who lives with her family in Goa. The victim was aged between nine and ten when she was raped and sexually abused.

CPS District Crown Prosecutor Tamsyn Wilcox said: 'Barry McCloud abused the trust of a family living in extreme poverty in Goa and used his position of trust to gain access to the victim in this case.

'He has since been brought before the courts and today, he has been jailed for his crimes. I can only hope that his young victim and her family can now move forward with their lives'

'This outcome sends a strong message to those people who think they can sexually abuse children whilst travelling abroad, without facing prosecution. They will be brought before the courts and justice will be served.'

St Albans Crown Court heard that the offences occurred between 2005 and 2007 and involved the abuse of a girl who was interviewed by specialist officers from Hertfordshire who travelled to India. The officers worked tirelessly with local authorities in India to gather intelligence and used proven techniques to interview the victim, which made the case much stronger. When faced with images he himself had taken, with him engaged in the abuse of the victim, McCloud eventually admitted his offences.

He pleaded guilty to the rape of a child under 13 and administering a stupefying drug to his victim in order to abuse her. Prior to his arrest McCloud had no previous convictions. He is the first resident in Hertfordshire to be charged with offences of this nature.

The investigation, led by Hertfordshire Constabulary, was made possible by a team of dedicated professionals within the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Justice and Care, an international human rights agency based in India and the UK that works with governments to support victims of exploitation.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Paul Doran, said: 'This was a protracted investigation with many issues to overcome. The professionalism and dedication of the experts within CEOP, SOCA and 'Justice and Care' have undoubtedly led to a successful outcome and removed the risk McCloud posed.

'The serious nature of the offences inevitably led us overseas to investigate McClouds sinister activities. Only when the damning nature of the evidence was put to him did he finally admit he had carried out these appalling crimes. Even then he made up a story about being forced to abuse the victim by an Indian police officer but we were able to prove this was a total lie through the evidence we had collated.'