Blidworth man jailed for child sex offences

Colin Barber, 52, of Mansfield Road, Blidworth has been jailed for three years.
Colin Barber, 52, of Mansfield Road, Blidworth has been jailed for three years.

A man in his 50s who attempted to arrange to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex has today been jailed for three years.

Colin Barber, 52, of Mansfield Road, Blidworth, admitted at a previous court appearance a charge of attempting to meet a child for sexual activity, along with three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

The court heard Barber was involved in a lengthy text message conversation which lasted a number of weeks with a girl he believed was aged 13. However, the messages were actually a specially trained police officer.

Officers had begun a proactive operation after intelligence was provided indicating Barber was attempting to groom children online.

In the course of the conversation, Barber persistently pressed the “girl” to agree to a time and date they could meet up to have sex.

On one occasion he wrote: “we go to some woods do it you can never tell anybody.”

Barber’s messages left no doubt he was well aware the girl was underage. On another occasion he wrote: “You OK to sex? I am 50 you are 13.”

Barber was arrested in Lincolnshire on 15 December 2015. He gave no comment responses in interview but admitted the offence in court.

Det Insp Pete Quinn said: “Barber visited online chat rooms aimed at teenagers in an attempt start up contact with a young child.

“Once he believed he was involved in a two-way conversation with a young girl, he was determined to set up a meeting and his subsequent text messages left no doubt about his sexual intentions.

“This case highlights once again the importance of educating young people about the dangers posed by such predatory individuals as Barber.

“A child may believe they are in a safe place in a chat room set up for teenagers but Barber set about using this as his platform to gain access to children.”