On Air NATHAN COOPER

Katrina and the Waves: Walking on SunshineiTunesAmazon

Leighton Buzzard Man Cleared Of Blackmailing Family Friend Who Killed Himself

Leighton Buzzard Man Cleared Of Blackmailing Family Friend Who Killed Himself

5:48pm 3rd September 2014

A Leighton Buzzard man has been cleared of blackmailing a family friend who killed himself after being told he was going to be exposed as a paedophile.

Robert Barton, who lives on Wyngates, allegedly told 62-year-old Peter Hallams he'd reveal he was a paeodophile if he didn't give him £500.

After being sent a series of threatening text messages, Mr Hallams gassed himself on his house boat in Leighton Buzzard.

Prosecutor Neil King  told Luton crown court said another text message sent on 26 May last year read: "When you have got money text me and I will give you an account to put it in. £500 or prison. Make your choice."

A day later another text read:  "I am coming to the Black Lion to tell everyone." On that occasion he asked for £30. 

On 29 May Mr Hallams complained to the police about Mr Barton. An officer visited him at his barge, which was moored near Jewson's, on the Grand Union Canal. A report was logged but Mr Hallams said he did not want any action taken.

Then on 3 June Mr Hallams took his own life, gassing himself using the petrol generator on his barge. He sent a friend Craig Wharton a message saying: "Thanks for everything mate. I don't want to do this. I have had enough. Kill that f****t... for me i.e. Robert." He sent Barton a message that read: "You have done it now mate. Hope you are happy now. This will haunt you."

Mr Wharton discovered his body at ten to eight that morning.

Opening the case, Mr King said Peter Hallams had known the Barton family for many years and when he was younger Robert Barton went to his boat a number of times.

Mr Barton, of Wyngates, Leighton Buzzard, denies blackmail and was cleared by a jury of 9 women and 3 men after less than an hour.

He told the jury he wanted to get money to prove to the police Mr Hallams was a paedophile.

Defence barrister Tim Clark told the jury that Barton "was not an angel."

He said he had taken drugs, had dyslexia and autism and had criminal convictions. But he said Peter Hallams was a paedophile. In a call to Barton's brother he Mr Hallams came close to confessing that the abuse did occur. When Mr Hallam's phone was examined it showed he had an interest in young men having used search terms such as  "Boy crush", "Boy Feast" and "Only Dudes."

Mr Clark went on: "This prosecution was brought to defend the rights of paedophiles against their victims. My client believed he was getting evidence. It was not about getting money."

After the verdict, Judge Michael Kay QC told Barton he was free to go and granted him a costs order of £55 to cover his travel expenses to court.

Share This Story

Submit this page to redditDelicious
Email Icon Get the latest local news direct to your inbox.
Sign up now for our email updates
.

Comments

No comments have been posted and approved yet.

Submit a Comment

Please log in to comment on this page.

Suggested articles
Police - Arrest/handcuffs

Man charged over burglary spree in Tring & Berkhamsted

The 19-year-old faces eight alleged offences.

Nicholas_Redding.original

Second man on the run from HMP Springhill

Nicholas Redding, who's 45, was last seen there on Sunday (19/11)

Most read
Air crash waddesdon

Helicopter and plane crash mid-air in Waddesdon

Police say four people have died in the mid-air crash

Ollie at Downing Street

Goodbye brave Ollie: Boy who captured our hearts passes away

The 13-year-old's parents have shared the news on his fundraising page

Newer article

Missing Chesham Man Leaves Home Without Wallet Or Phone Five Days Ago

Local: Growing concern over a missing Chesham man who hasn't been seen since leaving his home last Saturday without a wallet or phone.

Older article

Autism Facilities Set To Close At Aylesbury School

Local: The council may make changes at Elmhurst Primary School in Aylesbury.

Top articles

Second man on the run from HMP Springhill

Local: Nicholas Redding, who's 45, was last seen there on Sunday (19/11)

10,000 forensic tests 'may have been manipulated'

National: Rogue laboratory staff may have tampered with forensic evidence in more than 10,000 cases, including murder and sex crimes.

HS2: 'It's Stolen My Time & Things I'd Promised Myself For 40 Years'

Local: Stan Mason is 79 and has been fighting the High Speed route for over 6 years. We wanted to see how that's affected him

Paul Hollywood: 'Girls abandoned Bake Off' over Channel 4 move

Showbiz: Paul Hollywood has said the female stars of The Great British Bake Off "abandoned" the show when it moved to Channel 4.

Michael O'Neill offered new six-year contract to remain as Northern Ireland boss

Sport: Michael O’Neill has been offered a new six-year contract to remain as Northern Ireland manager until 2023, Sky Sports News understands.

Giant swastika to be destroyed with jackhammers

World: A giant concrete Nazi swastika will be destroyed with jackhammers after it was unearthed by construction workers at a sports field in Hamburg.

Get 1 main free when 2 people dine in

Mela Restaurant in Aston Clinton has now been open since September 2002 and has built a reputation for serving the finest Indian cuisine

Find out about saving money with the Mix 96 VIP Club

Find out more about Mela - Contemporary Indian Cuisine