A child abuser whose vile crimes ruined the lives of two women was today starting a prison sentence of more than seven years after one of his “brave” victims later tracked him down using Facebook.
For years casino worker Barry Willoughby had enjoyed his new life on cruise ships and in the US but his past finally caught up with him when he was extradited back to this country to stand trial over the abuse he committed back in the 1980s.
A police inquiry which had been started in the early 1990s was resumed in 2010 after one of Willoughby’s victims told officers that she had found her abuser after recognising him from a photograph on Facebook.
Bradford-born Willoughby’s extradition 14 months ago led to headlines in the media and that resulted in a second woman coming forward to make claims of sexual abuse against him.
Yesterday, a jury a Bradford Crown Court took fewer than two hours to find the 46-year-old guilty on ten charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child relating to his abuse of the two women.
The court heard how Willoughby, who has been living at Mandale Road, Buttershaw, Bradford, since his return from the US, “groomed” one of his victims 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 years old and he was acting as her babysitter.
As he jailed Willoughby for a total of seven years and 92 days Judge Jonathan Rose said he had no qualms about the effect the sentence would have on his life because of the damage suffered by both of his victims.
“For whilst you have enjoyed a good life, all that I have heard and all that I have read is of lives ruined by what you did in the 1980s,” the judge told Willoughby.
“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 re-live it in front of the jury.”
The court heard that some of the offending committed by Willoughby while he was babysitting took place at a time when his own wife was in hospital having a baby.
Willoughby, who now faces the prospect of never being able to return to the US, will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and he will be subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order.