Serial paedophile wanted by Australian police for nearly 10 years jailed in UK

A paedophile wanted by police in Australia for almost 10 years was free to commit a series of crimes against teenage boys in the UK, it has emerged.

Barry Radford, 53, a Northumberland-based spray painter, was jailed for 12 years at Newcastle Crown Court for a series of grooming offences, taking indecent images of one of his victims and possessing more than 1,000 of other children.

His offending came to light last year when one of the boys came forward to police.

It later emerged Radford (pictured) had been wanted by police in Australia for sexual offences said to have been committed in 1999.

The North-East born persistent abuser was believed to have moved back to the UK the following year.

The Australian authorities issued arrest warrants and in 2007 Interpol contacted Northumbria Police after the force had stopped him in the North East for a driving offence.

But this did not lead to him being returned to Australia for the alleged 1999 offences, and in 2009 the authorities there revoked the warrants.

That meant he was at liberty to prey on teenage boys in Northumberland, giving them money, buying them expensive trainers, letting them drink and smoke cannabis at his home where they could play pool, and taking them out in his camper van to caravan sites and trampoline parks.

He conned the boys’ parents to gain their trust in the lengthy grooming process.

He pleaded guilty to a series of charges, including inciting a child into sexual activity, grooming and possessing indecent images.

He took photos of one of his victims when he was passed out through drink and drugs, and on another occasion paid him to be allowed to take other indecent pictures of him.

That boy said: “Barry is a very dangerous man, he knows exactly what he was doing.”

Judge Amanda Rippon, sentencing Radford to 12 years, told him his offending had a “profound effect” on the lives of his victims and their mental health.

Richard Herrmann, defending, said his client was remorseful and pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

Outside court, a New South Wales Police spokesman said: “In 2000, it was established that the man had left Australia and travelled to the UK.

“In 2002, NSW Police issued two warrants for his arrest, however a decision was made to revoke them in 2009.

“Given the man remains before the courts in the UK, it would be inappropriate to comment on further action by NSW Police.”

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “We can confirm we were made aware, by international partners, of Radford in 2007, who was suspected of living in our area at the time.

“This was an intelligence-led request by police in Australia.

“This was an investigation by New South Wales Police and we had no power of arrest.

“We are unable to comment on this any further.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Northumbria Police / PA Wire.