‘White witch’ of Whitby jailed for sex crimes

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A ‘white witch’ well-known around Whitby has been sentenced to 22 years in jail for sexually abusing children.

A flamboyant devotee of goth subculture, Redvers ‘Barney’ Barnard, claimed to practice ‘white magic’ for healing purposes.

But Manchester Crown Court heard he was a ‘terrifying’ figure who manipulated and abused young girls in Greater Manchester over a twenty-year period.

In the most disturbing case, Barnard began abusing an underage girl before raping and taking pornographic images of her.

She was subjected to such ‘grooming and coercion’ the sex continued into her adulthood.

By that time, Barnard was secretly abusing two other young girls.

One of those young girls was raped and another of them was forced into lewd acts.

Barnard also abused three other young girls at addresses in Salford, bringing the total number of victims to six.

Barnard, 56, was branded a dangerous offender by the judge shortly after being found guilty of 15 sex offences against the six victims, who were as young as four when the abuse began.

He had denied all the offences, which stretched back to the early eighties, claiming the victims were all lying.

Barnard, who is from Middlesbrough but spent long periods of time in Whitby, has now been jailed for 22 years, with an extended licence period for the public protection.

This means that unlike ordinary prisoners, he must serve at least two-thirds of his sentence, rather than half, and can only be released when the parole board think it is safe to do so.

Even after his release, he will remain at risk of being recalled to prison until 2042.

In total, Barnard was found guilty of three rapes and sixteen indecent assaults.

Sending him down, Judge Michael Henshell said Barnard, formerly known as Peter Barnard, had treated his victims as his ‘sexual property’ and bullied them into keeping quiet.

“I’m abundantly satisfied you are a dangerous individual so far as children and sexual offending is concerned.

“Throughout your life you have demonstrated you are sexually attracted to young girls. You are also highly manipulative and have used coercion. You have corrupted children and by turns terrified them”, the judge added.