'Dangerous paedophile' jailed for abuse offences committed in India

A MAN was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of seven years yesterday for committing a series of sex offences involving a girl in India, police said.

Barry McCloud, 54, pleaded guilty to raping a child under 13 and administering a stupefying drug to his victim to abuse her, Hertfordshire Police said.

Officers said the case was the first time in the county that someone had been charged with sexually abusing a child who lives overseas.

Police said McCloud, from Watford, befriended the girl's family in Goa and took advantage of their vulnerability, abusing her on a number of occasions when he travelled to India. The offences date back to 2005-2007, when the girl was aged between nine and 10.

He pleaded guilty to a series of offences at St Albans Crown Court in October and was sentenced yesterday.

McCloud had no previous convictions when he was arrested after a "protracted" investigation, police said. They described him as a "very dangerous paedophile" who posed a "significant risk".

In a statement, Tamsyn Wilcox, CPS district crown prosecutor, said: "Barry McCloud abused the trust of a family living in extreme poverty in Goa and used his position of trust to gain access to the victim in this case.

"He has since been brought before the courts and today he has been jailed for his crimes.

"I can only hope that his young victim and her family can now move forward with their lives.

"This outcome sends a strong message to those people who think they can sexually abuse children whilst travelling abroad, without facing prosecution. They will be brought before the courts and justice will be served."

Police added McCloud eventually admitted the crimes after being presented with images he had taken of himself abusing the girl.