‘Child abuser put our family through hell’
A PAEDOPHILE who groomed a young girl into believing she was in a consensual relationship has been jailed for eight years.
Ian Barrington, 42, was convicted at Burnley Crown Court of five counts of engaging in sexual activity.
Prosecutors said the abuse started earlier this year when the girl was just 13 and carried on for months.
The offences took place in Colne earlier this year, the court heard.
After he was jailed the victim’s mum told of her horror at finding out her daughter was being sexually abused.
She said: “He had been grooming my daughter since the start of the year. The abuse started when she was just 13.
“He had got her eating out of the palm of his hand.
“He made her feel like she was in a relationship with him and that she was really special. He took advantage of a very vulnerable girl.
“He has left my daughter completely broken. She has gone from being a very confident young woman who was doing really well academically to now not wanting to go to school or even leave the house.
“At the moment she doesn’t want to take part in life. It will take us years to get her back to where she was but we will get there.”
Barrington, of Highfield Avenue, Foulridge, was cleared of two other counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child and one of causing a female child to engage in sexual activity.
He was given eight years in prison for each of the five counts he was found guilty of, to be served concurrently, and ordered to sign the Sexual Offenders’ Register indefinitely.
A judge also ordered a sexual harm prevention order to be made at a later date.
The victim’s mum is now urging other parents to watch out for signs of grooming and report anything suspicious to the authorities to prevent other families from ‘having to go through the same hell’.
She said: “No sentence given by the judge could ever make up for what he has done.
“It terrifies me that in four years he could be back out on the streets, doing this to other children.
“I just wanted people to know what kind of man he is and what he has done. I don’t want him to do this to anyone else.
“I had started to suspect something was going on because she had stopped eating.
“But she had lots of exams at the time and I just thought she was putting herself under a lot of pressure to do well.
“It was only when I found text messages on her phone where he was calling her ‘fit’ and ‘sexy’ that she told me what was going on.
“I would say to other parents if something is telling you there is something wrong then don’t let it drop.
“Even if it means reporting it to the police and it turns out that everything is okay, it is better being safe than sorry.”