A “manipulative sexual predator” used a domineering fictional character to coerce teenage girls into having sex with him. The victims were so taken in by a computer hacker called A9 they gave in to his demands to have sexual activity with Harry Barton, Bristol Crown Court heard.
When A9 threatened repercussions unless they have sex on camera and be whipped by Harry Barton they did so. But it transpired A9 was none other than Barton himself, who at the time was aged in his late teens.
Barton, now 20, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to: meeting a child following sexual grooming; two rapes of a second complainant; three rapes of a third complainant.
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Judge Euan Ambrose handed him an extended sentence of 21 years, comprising of 16 years’ custody and five years’ extended licence. He told Barton: “Your behaviour was predatory and extremely manipulative. I am in no doubt that you are extremely dangerous.”
Barton was handed a restraining order banning from all contact with named parties. He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, designed to stop reoffending, and told to register on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Mark Worsley, prosecuting, said: “Mr Barton is still 20. He is a sexual predator. He has used social media to communicate with complainants in the case.
“He used the fictional identity A9 to intimidate and send messages to complainants and encourage them to comply with his demands. The purpose was to satisfy his sexual desires.”
Mr Worsley said the victim of the two rapes was aged 14 when Barton tied her to a bed and raped her. The complainant was then text messaged by A9, demanding she allow Barton to whip her and threatening that if she didn’t comply people would go to her home near Bristol and hurt her and her mum.
Mr Worsley told the court: “She received texts threatening her if she didn’t carry out sexual acts. All were sent by the defendant as his A9 pseudonym.”
The court heard she allowed Barton to whip her, which was filmed. The abuse came to light when she told her teachers what had happened.
Mr Worsley said A9 contacted another 14-year-old complainant, saying he was a hacker who could help her out, and asking her to find out information about an older man. When A9 asked her to send him a topless photo of herself she did so, the court heard, and Barton claimed A9 said there would be a killing if the complainant didn’t have sex with him on film.
Though the complainant did go to meet Barton for sex, her suspicious mum intervened and told her to return home. Police were called in and the complainant made full disclosures.
The court heard a third complainant aged 16 was persuaded that A9 had planted a heat sensor which told him if she had had full sexual intercourse. When A9 asked for photos of her she complied and A9 also instructed her to have sex with the defendant, and she was told A9 would “make her life a living hell” if she didn’t.
Emma Martin told the court her remorseful client, who has autism and ADHD, had said: “I can’t express how sorry I am, an apology doesn’t cut it.
“What I’ve done you can’t forgive.
“I lay awake at night, I’m horrified by the things I’ve done. All of it is inhumane and horrific.”
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