North Weald man Barry Gooderham jailed for trying to groom children and sharing indecent images.
Gooderham previously pleaded guilty to 18 offences.
A “sad and lonely” man from North Weald has been jailed for six years for attempting to groom children and sharing indecent images online.
Barry Gooderham, 51, formerly of Hawks Hill, was sentenced today (Friday, May 12) at Chelmsford Crown Court, having previously pleaded guilty to 18 charges, all of which took place in Harlow.
The court heard police raided his home on December 1, 2015 and uncovered chat logs dating as far as back as January 2014, in which he encouraged what are purported to be teenage girls to perform sex acts and send him indecent photographs.
He later admitted three charges of attempting to cause a girl aged 13 to 15 years old to engage in sexual activity. The charges all relate to attempts as the victims have never been traced and their ages cannot be verified.
He also pleaded guilty to five counts of distributing indecent images indecent images of children and nine counts of making hundreds of images of children.
Gooderham also admitted one charge of attempting to meet a girl under 16 after grooming.
A movie and stills of a 13-year-old he had filmed himself were among the material he distributed among three other men.
Referring to Gooderham’s chat logs, judge Peters said: “To say they were utterly disgusting, repugnant, vile things to read would be to understate it considerably.”
Emma Nash, prosecuting, said Dooderham arranged to meet someone he thought was a nine-year-old girl, who in fact turned out to be another “middle-aged man”.
“That was never going to take place, but clearly Mr Gooderham didn’t know that,” she added.
Anthony Abell, for the defence, passed a handwritten letter from Gooderham’s mother to judge Emma Peters during the hearing.
He said: “He worked with stroke patients as a nurse for over five years and has also worked for a long time for St John Ambulance Service.”
Gooderham was also involved in foster care for vulnerable children in the past and was married for about 20 years with children aged 21 and 19 years old.
Mr Abell added: “His father died six or so years ago and he took that very, very badly indeed.
“Within a year of that, his wife with whom he had a functional relationship, announced she was bored with the marriage, she had been unfaithful to him and was going to leave.
“That hit him like a thunderbolt. It had a devastating effect on his life and confidence in himself as a person and he became very introverted.
“He became a sad and lonely middle-aged man who turned to the internet and one thing led to another.”
Since legal proceedings began, Gooderham’s car had been vandalised, a petrol bomb was thrown at his home and an investigation is underway into an alleged assault on him at a previous court hearing, Mr Abell said.
Throughout today’s hearing, Gooderham, dressed in a blue hoody, sat with his head bowed, before looking impassively at Judge Peters as she sentenced him to six years in prison for the grooming and three counts of attempting to cause a girl aged 13 to 15 years old to engage in sexual activity.
In addition to the six year jail sentence, Gooderham received a combined eight and a half years for all to run concurrently for the charges relating to indecent images.
Judge Peters said: “These sort of life events befall many people, but most people don’t resort to this sort of paedophilic offending.
“They are serious, and show to me you have a clear sexual interest in children, even including a baby a matter of weeks old.
“For the rest of your life you will have the police looking over your shoulder.”
Gooderham will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and his name will remain on the sexual offenders register indefinitely.