Harrogate man who groomed girls is jailed after admitting child sex offences

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A man who groomed two girls is behind bars after admitting offences of sexual activity with a child and making indecent photographs.

Malcolm Peter Barwick pleaded guilty to eight offences on the first day of his trial last month.

The 64-year-old, of Woodfield Drive, Harrogate, was sentenced at York Crown Court yesterday to three years and ten months in prison.

He had admitted two counts of sexual activity with a teenage girl under 16 between 2009 and 2011 and one count of sexual activity with a second teenage girl under 16 between 2010 and 2012.

The court heard Barwick allowed the girls to stay over at his home and asked one of the girls to wash him in the bath.

He also massaged both the girls on separate occasions.

Barwick also pleaded guilty to a further five counts of making indecent photographs of a child.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Constable Fiona Ayre, of Harrogate Police, said: “Barwick took advantage of the girls’ ages and trusting nature. He groomed the girls for his own sexual gratification. Grooming children is child abuse and this case must serve as a warning to all of the consequences of such abuse.

“I hope the outcome of this case provides the victims with some degree of closure.

“We all need to be alert to the signs of the sexual grooming of children and report any concerns to the police, they will be fully investigated.”

Barwick was also ordered to forfeit an indecent photograph and computer equipment, sign the sex offenders register for life, and was issued with a sexual offences prevention order until further order.

The case has prompted North Yorkshire Police to urge other victims of sexual abuse to make contact, regardless of how long ago the abuse took place.

A spokesman said: "It’s important that victims are offered the support and advice that is available to them.

"Your information could also trigger measures that are put in place to protect other victims, and help to inform a bigger picture of offending. Both of which can help to protect and potentially reduce the risk to future victims."

Local police can be contacted via 101, but anyone in immediate danger should call 999.

Sexual assault referral centre's can also offer support to those who do not want to contact the police directly.

North Yorkshire's centre, Bridge House, can be contacted on 01904 669339.