June 2015

Guilty of child abuse images offences after three years on bail

Jonathan Barclay, of Chadborn Close, Brighton

A MAN who spent more than three years on bail before being charged has pleaded guilty to child abuse images offences.

Jonathan Barclay, of Chadborn Close, Brighton, has been given a 24-month community order and will be a registered sex offender for five years.

His estranged husband has spoken of his upset at learning through this newspaper that his partner had been charged with such serious offences.

Barclay, 51, co-founder of a Brighton events management company, pleaded guilty to five counts of downloading indecent images of children and one count of distributing an indecent image of a child.

He had been arrested in October 2011 but not charged until January this year due to what police described as a “very exceptional series of complex legal and technical issues”.

His case was used by the chief constable Giles York as an example of why a cap should not be put on the length of time people could be on police bail, arguing some cases were too complex.

Mr Barclay had pleaded not guilty to causing or inciting a child between 13 and 17 years old to be involved in pornography and refusing an order to disclose a computer password. The court did not proceed with those charges but they will remain on file.

His estranged husband, William who has changed his name to Christopher, said he was shocked to learn of the offences through The Argus when the paper first covered the story in January.

The 21-year-old, who now lives in London, said Barclay had told him he was on bail after they moved in together but not what for, and he had not pressed the issue.

The pair married in April, 2013 after meeting via a dating website that Christmas. They separated shortly after, before Barclay was charged.

Mr Clayton said: “I did not know how serious it was until I saw it in the paper.

“I was completely in love with him at the start. Since I got off the train there was a spark with him and I fell in love. He was a lovely guy when it was nice. When it was nice, it was lovely.

“But when I first found out about the case I felt violated. “Now I think my whole wedding and everything with him was based on a lie from the beginning.”

Under the name Jon Philips, Barclay was featured on the website of Brighton events management company Showbizz, in Cheapside, earlier this year, as a co-founder. He no longer has anything to do with the company, a spokesman said.