Walton man who groomed two 14-year-old girls on internet chat rooms spared jail
A man from Walton has been spared jail after being found guilty of grooming underage girls on internet chat rooms.
Barrie Gable, also known as Barrie Williams, 26, planned to exploit two 14-year-old girls for his own sexual gratification.
Prosecuting, Barry Gilbert QC said: “This was a significant amount of planning and grooming behaviour.
“The defence says the prosecution is wrong in those assertions.”
A jury found him guilty of two counts of inciting a child into sexual activity and one count of possession of indecent images.
Defending, Mr Hughes said: “What is clear from the report and from what could be observed during the trial is that the defendant has been for some time suffering from depression and anxiety and fragile self-esteem.
“He had to wait for some time for the trial largely because of the various reports being prepared. The pressure caused him to attempt a serious attempt on his own life.
“He has started to do something about his predicament. He is now taking anti-depressants and found himself work.”
Gable was then given a 21 month suspended sentence on Friday (December 6) by Judge Christopher Morgan and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.
Judge Morgan said: “You engaged them through chat rooms in which conversations turned to a sexual nature very quickly.
“You invited them to show you their genitals that you put forward. You gained their confidence and you recognise that these are serious offences.
“They do pass the custody threshold. The message should go out that those who engage in this type of conversation with underage girls should expect this type of custodial sentence.”
Gable was also placed under Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to attend rehabilitation courses.