Child abuser tracked down to America by victim

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A CHILD ABUSER from Yorkshire was tracked down to the United States by one of his victims who spotted his photograph on Facebook.

Casino worker Barry Willoughby had enjoyed his new life on cruise ships and in America but his past caught up with him when he was extradited back to Britain to stand trial over abuse committed in the 1980s.

He was taken into custody in Biloxi, Mississippi and extradited to the UK - the first US-UK extradition involving West Yorkshire Police.

A police inquiry which had been started in the early 1990s was resumed in 2010 after one of Willoughby’s victims told officers she had found her abuser, who was working as a croupier in Las Vegas, after recognising him on Facebook.

Bradford-born Willoughby’s extradition 14 months ago led to local newspaper headlines that resulted in a second woman coming forward to make claims of sexual abuse against him.

Yesterday a jury a Bradford Crown Court found the 46-year-old guilty on 10 charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child relating to his abuse of the two women.

Willoughby, who has been living at Mandale Road, Buttershaw, Bradford, since his return from the US, ‘groomed’ one victim so that he could abuse her between the ages of 11 and 15.

The woman, who used Facebook to find Willoughby, was molested by him when she was nine and he was her babysitter.

Jailed him for a seven years and 92 days, Judge Jonathan Rose said Willoughby had enjoyed a good life after ruining the lives of his victims.

“You’ve been convicted because these two women told the truth however difficult it was for them to do so. They told the truth because they are brave women. They are brave women because after 20-plus years they faced their demons, they came into court and they told the jury of the appalling way in which you ruined their lives. Both of them were brave and you were the coward because you would not admit your offending and so they had to relive it in front of the jury.’’

Some of the offending took place when Willoughby’s wife was in hospital having a baby.

Willoughby, who faces being banned from returning to the US, will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Detective Inspector Vanessa Smith said: “The process to bring Willoughby to justice has been a long one, but we believe that today’s sentence justifies the hard work of our detectives, in conjunction with the US authorities.

“I would like to thank them for their co-operation with the extradition proceedings and of course, the victims themselves for coming forward. We hope this will give them some closure after all this time.

“We also hope that this case demonstrates that our officers will do all they can to locate those wanted for sexual offences, regardless of where they might be living now.

“Victims of sexual offences, no matter how historic, can be assured that West Yorkshire Police will continue to thoroughly and sensitively investigate all reports with the aim of bringing offenders to justice.”