International Operation leads to Child Abuse charges


A 53-year-old man from Watford appeared in Hatfield Remand Court on Friday May 21 charged with more than 20 offences of child abuse, including the rape of a child under 13, following an international police operation.

It is the first time in Hertfordshire that a local resident has been charged with an offence of sexually abusing a child who lives overseas, in this instance, Goa, India.

The alleged offences, which date from 2005 to 2007, centre on the abuse of a girl (now 13), who was interviewed by Hertfordshire police officers. Recognising the serious nature of the case, they travelled to India. Barry McCloud was charged after a complex two-year inquiry which saw Police liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the Child Exploitation & On-line Protection centre (CEOP), and a non-government agency in India called Justice and Care who work to support poverty stricken families vulnerable to abuse.

District Crown Prosecutor Tamsyn Wilcox said: "The CPS has advised the police throughout this painstaking and lengthy investigation and decided that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the defendant, Barry McCloud. Under Sec 72 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, a person can be charged with an offence committed abroad if they are a British citizen or resident, and the crime would be an offence in the country in which it is committed, as well as here."

Detective Inspector Paul Doran said: "This has been an exhaustive inquiry which involved officers from the Constabulary travelling overseas to India to undertake specialist investigative work with local authorities and non-government agencies. The case would not have been able to move forward had it not been through the work, support and guidance of agencies such as CEOP, SOCA, the CPS and authorities in India, whose operational guidance is much appreciated."

McCloud was remanded in police custody, prior to a plea hearing at on June 1 at St Albans Crown Court.