David Barnes – Bury

August 2021

Man, 59, is snared by paedophile hunters in Manchester city centre after he planned to meet ’14-year-old girl’ for sex

David Barnes (pictured), 59, was 'humiliated' when he arrived at Piccadilly Gardens, having expected to be met by the 'girl' he had groomed online

Paedophile hunters have snared a man in Manchester city centre after he planned to meet a ’14-year-old girl’ for sex.

David Barnes, 59, was ‘humiliated’ when he arrived at Piccadilly Gardens, having expected to be met by the ‘girl’ he had groomed online.

But the ‘girl’ was actually an adult decoy from a paedophile hunter group, Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

He was instead confronted by a member of the Predators Exposed Sting Team. Police officers also attended and Barnes was arrested.

Barnes had sexualised chats with the ‘girl’ online, and said he would ‘take her virginity’, the court heard.

A judge accepted it was an ‘aberration’ for Barnes, but said it was ‘very serious’ offence and jailed him for 16 months.

Prosecutors said it was clear that Barnes was ‘fully aware’ that the ‘girl’ was 14.

The ‘vulnerable girl’ had told him her mother was an alcoholic, and that her father had died years earlier.

Barnes told her that he would ‘like to spend time’ with her, ‘kissing her all over her body’.

Mark Kellet, prosecuting, said: ‘He told her that kissing her body, in his words, was not a crime.’

Mr Kellet said Barnes also spoke about the potential of sexual activity after she had turned 16, and asked ‘if she would wait for him’.

In one chat, Barnes said he wished she was 16, and said he would ‘take her virginity’.

Barnes said he wanted to meet up with her, and the ‘girl’ said she was ‘nervous’.

Barnes said: ‘Ok leave it sweet, it’s up to you.’

Eventually, a meeting was arranged in June last year, when the ‘girl’ was set to meet him in Piccadilly Gardens.

In the days prior to the scheduled meeting, the conversation became ‘more overtly sexual’, Mr Kellet said.

The court heard how Barnes received a ‘fairly unwelcome reception’ in Piccadilly Gardens.

He was arrested and pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and attempting to meet a child following grooming.

Sentencing, Judge John Edwards said: ‘You are a mature man of 59 years, you have no convictions since 2006, and nothing of a sexual nature.

‘Whilst you were entrapped and indeed humiliated in your chosen meeting place in Piccadilly Gardens…as far as you were concerned, you were going to indulge yourself sexually with a real person.

‘She presented to you as vulnerable, and you were only too willing to exploit that situation.’

Barnes, from Bury, represented himself at the hearing. He must sign the sex offender register for 10 years, and a sexual harm prevention order was imposed for the same period. 

Comments are closed.