Dover pervert jailed after victim sees his photo on BBC’s Crimewatch
A Dover sex offender caught because of a Crimewatch appeal was this morning given a 10-year extended jail sentence.
But as bearded John Barnett, 66, was led away to the cells he shouted: “I just want you to know that I am not guilty!”
Judge Adele Williams had heard that despite the jury’s verdicts of guilty on four sex offences against a young teenager, that he was still in denial.
She told the former soldier, who served in Iraq: “In my opinion you are a predatory sex offender with a sexual interest in children and someone who poses a significant risk of causing serious harm to children.”
Barnett – who was arrested sleeping rough near Dartford – was given a six year immediate jail sentence – and the judge added another four years which he will serve on licence when he is released.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how he was caught after his photograph was used on BBC’s Crimewatch – and seen by a victim.
The picture was shown on the May 2013 programme after an appeal by Kent police for information on his whereabouts because he was in breach of requirements to tell police where he lived.
Now a jury has heard that a man later called officers to report how he was abused by Barnett in Lancashire more than 10 years ago.
Barnett had denied four sex charges relating to the teenager but was convicted by a jury.
Detectives used the popular TV show after fearing that Barnett – also known as John Owen – might befriend another family.
The registered sex offender was jailed for four years in 2003 after being convicted of an indecent assault on an eight year-old-boy.
Four years ago Barnett was seen by his landlord in Dover but fled after social services intervened when police became concerned he was becoming too close to a family with children.
Checks later revealed that the pervert had visited Dartford, London, Brighton, Bournemouth, Blackpool and Scarborough.
But officers took a phone call telling them the paedophile had struck in Lancashire many years earlier.
Prosecutor Nicholas Dunham told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court how Barnett had invited the youngster to help with some DIY.
Over the next few months, Barnett showered the youngster – who came from a poor family – with gifts, of clothes, £100 football boots and a 16-day camping trip to France, Germany and Holland.
After leaving Lancashire, Barnett left £2,000 as a thank you present for the DIY help.
“The family was not very wealthy and accepted the gift. Barnett also gave him a Vauxhall Corsa,” said the prosecutor.
Barnett moved to Wales and invited the teenager to stay with him, which is when he carried out some of the attacks.