September 2020

Mum speaks out after child-molester jailed

A mother from Bury has spoken of her heartache after a family friend was jailed for molesting her then-five-year-old daughter.

Barry Graham, 74, is beginning a four-year jail term after being convicted at Minshull Street Crown Court.

And the mother of his young victim has told the Bury Times that the ordeal for his child victim is still ongoing.

She has recalled how she asked Graham, a father-of-nine and grandfather, to pick up her five-year-old from school.

But the pensioner used the job as an excuse to involve the youngster with indecent behaviour, the court was told.

Graham, of Colleen Crescent, was found guilty of encouraging a child to engage in sexual activity following a trial in August.

He was found not guilty of a second similar offence.

The defendant, after returning to court for sentencing, was issued with a sexual harm prevention order, as well as being jailed.

He was also given a restraining order, prohibiting any contact with the victim or her family once he is eventually released.

For the youngster’s family, their ordeal began a few years ago.

The victim’s mother said: “I’ve known him for (many) years. He was a family friend who we trusted. I think he’s a monster.”

“He made it a secret which she wasn’t supposed to tell anyone.”

It was only a chance remark by the youngster to her mother a short time later, while she was getting changed, which led to suspicions being aroused concerning Graham.

Her parents immediately contacted police and the little girl was interviewed by specially-trained officers.

She was able to give a full account of the abuse, which was said to have occurred in the bathroom of their Colleen Crescent home.

Graham was later arrested and charged.

His denial of the offence resulted in the evidence of the primary school pupil being relayed to the court.

The girl’s parents have been anxious to offer her as much support as possible, to help her through the trauma of being abused.

But the pandemic and the court proceedings have not assisted their cause.

The mother added: “She still can’t even have counselling because of coronavirus and she couldn’t have any help before then because of the trial.

“It’s been awful for the past (few) years but now we have finally been given some closure with what has happened in court.”

Her main worry now, beyond her daughter’s recovery, is that others might have fallen prey to Graham.