Gardener, 54, armed with sex toy and lube caught meeting 13-year-old ‘girl’ in Leeds

The profile that Ronald Malcolm Barton had actually communicated with was a decoy set up by group of pedophile huntersNet Justice, who confronted him when he showed up in Leeds at what he thought was the girl’s home address.

Barton, of Mill Croft Estate, Otley, was hooked by the group’s online profile, claiming to be a 13-year-old named Poppy, in July last year.

Leeds Crown Court She was told he contacted the profile and she repeatedly told him he was only 13, although he turned the conversation to sexual matters, prosecutor Carmel Pearson said.

Ronald Barton was jailed at Leeds Crown Court this week.

He then said he would give her sex education lessons, discussed meeting her and sent her pictures of male genitalia saying he would teach her about masturbation. Barton also told her not to tell anyone.

When the decoy profile told her she would be home alone one day, he said he would visit her and bring some sex toys and booze to “start the lesson”.

On July 9, he was confronted by members of Net Justice near the decoy address in Leeds. In her bag they found the sex aid, lube, condoms and alcopops.

He was arrested shortly after and admitted to trying to meet a girl under 16 after grooming, trying to get a child to watch sexual activity and trying to have a communication sex with a child.

Mitigating, Christopher Morton said Barton has become socially isolated since his partner left him in March 2020.

He said: “He tried to form new relationships with adults, but was rejected, became depressed and felt inadequate. His life was at rock bottom. »

Mr Morton said Barton, who has no previous convictions, claimed he had no sexual interest in children before his partner left him.

Judge Christopher Batty jailed Barton for two years and gave him a 10-year sexual harm prevention order to limit his internet use.

He said to her, “It’s sad that you’re here today. You had led a blameless life.

“The fact that she (Poppy) didn’t exist, you didn’t know.”