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Morecambe man sentenced for child sex offences

John Freeman
Peter Barber, who was originally convicted for
child abuse last year
Sex offender Peter Barber, who groomed four local youngsters over a period of 10 years, has been given an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum of six years in prison.

Barber, 63, formerly of Morecambe, was originally jailed last year after being convicted of a number of child sex offences at Carlisle Crown Court. The subsequent media coverage led to four boys from Morecambe coming forward to say that they too had been abused by Barber.

The offences, which happened when the boys were aged between six and 15, took place over a decade, culminating in 2010.

Following an eight-day trial in April this year, Barber was convicted of 19 sexual offences against young boys. Preston Crown Court had heard how Barber would take the boys to his home in Sandylands, or out in his car to Middleton Sands, before abusing them.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court yesterday and was given an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum of six years in prison. (Barber currently has two years left to serve for a previous sentence. The minimum six years in prison will commence once this original sentence is served).

An indeterminate sentence allows a judge to set a minimum tariff for incarceration but once this is completed the offender must satisfy the authorities he or she is fit for release and does not pose any threat to the community. Those who have not addressed their offending will remain in prison.

After the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Simon Coates, of Lancaster’s public protection team, said: “Barber has serially targeted young boys and put his victims through extra pain by making them go through the trial process. Barber is a predatory paedophile who preyed on vulnerable children before systematically grooming them with alcohol, cigarettes and sweets. His victims have suffered psychological problems as a result of the abuse and I hope that this sentence will offer some comfort to them and their families.”