Internet paedophile jailed for seven years


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The Independent Online

A man who posed as a 14-year-old girl to entice children to perform sex acts in front of a web camera has been jailed for almost seven years.

Barry McCluskey, 40, pleaded guilty to 49 charges, which included lewd and libidinous behaviour. The offences were committed between March 2003 and August last year at locations in Glasgow.

McCluskey often used the pseudonym "Clare" when he contacted children, whose ages ranged between nine and 15, via online instant messenger services.

In one instance he asked a 14-year-old girl to rub her naked breasts and bend over in front of the webcam while wearing grey knee-high socks.

He often blackmailed the children, telling them he would distribute the videos of them, or even commit suicide, if they did not do as he said.

McCluskey also admitted two charges of surreptitiously following schoolgirls and filming up their skirts, as well as filming women and children in public changing rooms.

Sentencing him today at the High Court in Glasgow, temporary Judge Rita Rae said McCluskey's actions were "depraved" and that the case should act as a warning to parents who allow their children full access to the internet.

She noted that in one case McCluskey would not leave one of his victims alone even after she pleaded with him that her mother was dying of cancer. The girl told McCluskey that she would kill herself if her mother found out.

Judge Rae sentenced him to a total of six years and eight months, which will be backdated to November 1 last year when he was first taken into custody.

She also imposed a lifelong restriction order on him, meaning he will be monitored after his release and can be returned to custody if a judge orders it.