April 2017

Boy, six, sexually abused by disgraced former church treasurer

A disgraced former church treasurer will spend at least four years behind bars for sexually abusing a six-year-old boy.

David Barras, 63, cunningly contrived to be alone with the child, instructing him to strip naked and repeatedly trying to persuade him to commit a disgusting sex act.

Barras, of Broadstone Way, Holme Wood, Bradford, was on prison licence after plundering more than £30,000 from a deprived parish in the city, when he incited the little boy to engage in sexual activity after luring his grandmother away.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood told Bradford Crown Court that Barras, a former chartered accountant, had displayed an astonishing lack of insight and contrition about what he had done to his young victim.

He had dropped his lower clothing and exposed himself to the child, blocking his path for up to 30 minutes while trying to abuse him.

“It must have been a frightening, confusing experience for a six-year-old boy,” Mr Wood said.

The child told his parents and his mother recorded what her son said to give to the police.

Barras admitted to investigating officers that he singled out his victim because he was vulnerable and he had asked the little boy to undress to make the experience “better”.

Barras said he had thought about being a naturist in the past and believed it was wrong to force the child to commit a sex act on him but not to ask him.

Mr Wood said: “He was remorseful only to the extent that he was in police custody and displayed no understanding of the psychological damage he could have caused the boy.”

In fact, Barras suggested that the boy’s visit to the police station was more damaging to him than the offence he had committed.

The boy’s mother said in a statement that her sociable and popular son was now withdrawn. He did not play out as much and he struggled to sleep.

She wept at home thinking of how Barras had robbed the little boy of his innocence.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC passed a seven year extended sentence, labelling Barras a public danger.

He must spend four years behind bars and then be released on closely supervised three year extended licence.

Judge Durham Hall told Barras: “You contrived to be alone with that little boy. It was a calculated offence you thought you would get away with.

“You targeted the child as the “best” victim for your plan. Your state of mind is incomprehensible and utterly blind.

“It was a canny and wilful offence with lack of any empathy and remorse.”

Barras was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order without limit of time. He must sign on the sex offenders’ register for life and obey a restraining order not to contact the boy and his family.

In 2014, Barras was jailed for two years for stealing £30,176 from Tong and Holme Wood Parochial Church Council, milking the organisation of lump sums of up to £500 a time and transferring the money into personal bank accounts.

He was jailed for 12 months in 1992 for stealing £10,000 when he was treasurer of a Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

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