Barry Radford jailed for 12 years after grooming adolescent boys
A paedophile has been jailed for 12 years after grooming young boys.
Barry Radford, 53, of no fixed abode but who had been living in the Northumberland area, has today (Friday) been sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court to 12 years for a string of offences involving teenage boys.
In March this year, Radford pleaded guilty to eight counts of making indecent images of a child, four counts of meeting a male under 16 following sexual grooming, possession of a prohibited image and inciting a male under 16 to engage in a sexual act.
Radford owned a campervan where he would invite boys to stay with him. Detectives who searched his home also found a pool table, games consoles and various other items that would be appealing to teenagers. It was a place where he could entertain boys and give them a place to stay.
Detective Constable Garry Cousins, who was the officer in charge of the investigation, said: "Radford has groomed these victims and they have grown to trust him and what is really difficult is that some of these boys still don't recognise themselves as victims.
"Radford has groomed them to such extremes that they believe he cares about them and that his behaviour has been acceptable.
"The victims were adolescent boys when Radford began his calculated and thought-out approach towards them. This is already a very difficult time for young teenagers. They are at an age where they are more susceptible to peer pressure and Radford has taken advantage of that.
"Sadly, male victims who have suffered abuse are reluctant to report anything to police due to the stigma associated with these types of offences and many are scared and too embarrassed to come forward.
"I want to commend these boys for coming forward.
“I would urge anyone who has been subjected to such offences and who may still be suffering in silence to please come forward – your voice will be heard."
The Victims Hubs, which are part of the Complex Abuse Investigation Unit, have additional resources working this evening and over the weekend to help support victims of sexual offences who may feel they can come forward following today's outcome.
Det Con Emma Clough, who was the victims' lead on this case, said: "We strongly believe that cases of young boys being groomed, abused or exploited are under-reported and I can't stress enough how important it is to speak out.
"We work with partners such as local authorities, and charities like Barnardos and Changing Lives to provide a wrap-around service to best protect those who need our help.
"Bright Futures, a charity organisation we work with, do a lot of work in the education sector to help provide that early awareness of what abuse and exploitation is and what this may look like to help young people identify if they are a victim of such offences.
"Today has been a much welcome outcome and we continue to support these victims."
If you have been a victim of grooming or any sexual offence whether this is recent or historic, please come forward and contact police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Victims can also contact Victims First Northumbria on 0800 011 3116 who will give independent advice and support.