Pervert groomed teen boy on Facebook offering cigs for sex
A pervert who paid a teenage boy with cigarettes and tobacco after “grooming” him over Facebook has been jailed for three years.
Brighouse man Wayne Barker asked the 16-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, to be his boyfriend despite the 10-year age gap and offered to buy him tickets to wrestling events.
Bradford Crown Court heard how Barker, of Bramston Street, began communicating with the then 15-year-boy via Facebook in 2015 and Recorder Tom Little said the exchanges quickly developed into highly explicit sexualised language.
In June 2016 Barker, who was then 26, met up with the 16-year-old after the teenager had told him he would do anything for cigarettes and the boy performed a sex act on the defendant at his home.
The court heard that during a second meeting Barker attempted to have sex with the teenager having offered him tobacco.
Barker, who had no previous convictions, was found guilty following a trial last month of two charges of paying a child for sexual services, but he was acquitted by the jury on other allegations.
Barrister Julian Taylor, for Barker, said his 28-year-old client was very sorry for what he had done and for any effect it had had on the teenage boy.
“He made a terrible mistake in what he did and is very sorry for it,” he added.
Mr Taylor urged Recorder Little to consider a suspended prison sentence which would hang over Barker and act as a deterrent to prevent any further offending.
But the judge said he had formed the view that the case involved an element of grooming by Barker and there was also a very signficant disparity in age between the defendant and his victim.
“In my judgement this offending, for the reasons I have said, is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate,” said the judge.
“Indeed the sentence is too long in any event to be suspended.
“This case reveals the danger of the internet and Facebook. You were 10 years older than the victim in this case. You should have known better and you should have kept your distance.”
The judge emphasised that Barker had used an element of grooming in order to ensure he could attempt to engage in consensual sex with his victim.
Barker will have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life and he will also be monitored following his release under the terms of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.