June 2016

Kendal teen given suspended sentence after sex crimes

A YOUNG Kendal man who committed sex crimes against three different females has been spared immediate custody.

Callum John Barrett, 19, was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court having admitted four offences. These were carried out during a nine-month period

He admitted one sexual assault, one other sexual offence and two counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child.

The court heard of the “distress and trauma” Barrett’s illegal acts had caused his victims – all of whom were in their teens.

One said she later endured nightmares. Another stated that a medical condition from which she previously suffered had been made worse by her ordeal, and added: “I just wanted to kill myself – I had had enough of it all.”

Barrett committed the last of his crimes while on police bail in respect of other matters, the court heard.

At the time he committed the offences, Barrett was said to have been “embroiled” in a lifestyle that included drug-taking and heavy drinking.

Janet Ironfield, defending, gave mitigation for Barrett, who had no previous criminal convictions. A raft of character references and testimonials were also submitted on his behalf.

Miss Ironfield said there had been a “deterioration” in Barrett’s behaviour prior to him committing the crimes.

“It appears to be the case that he was or may have been then experiencing a period of mental illness or mental health issues,” she told the court.

“At the time of these offences he was not presenting as the young man that everyone knew him to be.

“Since then he has made a recovery – in part due to his own efforts.”

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Hughes QC said he had found Barrett’s case to be a “difficult and troubling one”.

Judge Hughes admitted he had “anxiously considered” whether or not a custodial sentence should be served immediately.

But in view of the mitigation, the judge concluded that a 20-month term in a young offenders’ institution should be suspended for two years.

Barrett, of Silver Howe Close, must undergo two years’ supervision and complete a sex offender treatment programme.

In addition he has to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Judge Hughes said: “I do particularly bear in mind for somebody still a young man the passage of time, and the hope that maturity will have taught you a lesson in the period since you were arrested.”