Portsmouth man with IQ below 70 caught by vigilantes posing as 13-year-old girl

A MAN caught in a sting after telling a fake 13-year-old girl he wanted to impregnate her has been spared jail.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:44 pm

David Barney, 32, was snared by a paedophile hunter – but only after vigilantes switched to an adult woman decoy.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Barney, who has learning difficulties and an IQ below 70, engaged in sexual chat with the fake teenager.

But he lost interest, his barrister said, and was only caught in Portsmouth in a sting when an adult woman contacted him for sex.

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Portsmouth Crown Court. Picture: César Moreno Huerta

She had no interest in meeting him but wanted to catch him out for the paedophile hunter, the court heard.

Barney, of Medina Road in Cosham, Portsmouth, had posed a boy, 16, when talking to the fake girl.

Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said Barney spoke to her about him ‘having sex with her, impregnating her and ultimately creating a scenario that they would live together at his parents’ as boyfriend or husband and wife’.

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Barney has 27 convictions for 47 offences, including attempting to cause of incite a girl under 16 to engage in a sexual act in 2017.

This related to a former friend posing as a child, the court heard.

Kelly Brocklehurst, mitigating, said Barney was in a devoted relationship with a woman.

He said his client’s ‘infantile and clumsy’ messages were ‘more a reflection of his own very basic understanding of language and ability to communicate’.

His decision to meet with someone he thought was an adult shows ‘he doesn’t have a proclivity with children,’ Mr Brocklehurst added.

On the messages with the fake child, he added there was ‘no reason to believe it was anything but an fantasy’.

Recorder Paul Garlick QC imposed a 17-month jail term suspended for two years with rehabilitation activities, with a sexual harm prevention order.

Barney must sign the sex offenders’ for 10 years.

He admitted attempting to communicate with a child for sexual purposes between July 2018 and January 2019, and breaching a previous sexual harm prevention order.

That related to admitting deleting messages. He told his offender manager he had done so, the court was told.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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