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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Gemma Bradley & Stephen Topping

Mum who ran fetish Facebook page caught with sick images

A mum-of-two who ran a fetish Facebook page under the pseudonym 'Rosie Cheek' had explicit images of children as young as 'five or six'. Julie Barnes told police she had no knowledge of the sick images, Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday (February 23).

But officers discovered the images had been deleted from the 57-year-old's phone. Barnes, from Widnes in Cheshire, had shared explicit images of herself on her fetish Facebook page - which has since been deleted.

She was described in court as a 'considerate and loving mother' who had acted through 'loneliness', the Liverpool Echo reports. Prosecuting, Derek Jones said police became aware of suspicious activity on the explicit Facebook page she ran.

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Officers traced the IP address to her home and attended on December 23, 2021. She was spoken to and denied all knowledge of the images, but a Samsung phone was seized from her.

Barnes was not arrested but her phone was analysed and the images discovered were 'cached', meaning they had been deleted. The pictures were not accessible to her at that time, but they had been accessed by her previously, though it could not be determined exactly when.

Julie Barnes (Liverpool Echo)

Mr Jones told the court the images showed girls between seven and nine years old being sexually abused by an adult man, and a five- or six-year-old-boy suffering sexual abuse by a woman. Barnes was interviewed in September 2022 and provided a prepared statement where she accepted being sent the images on her Facebook 'fetish' account.

Mr Jones said there was no evidence of Barnes searching for images of this nature herself, and that May 2021 was the last time it could be confirmed that she had accessed the images she had been sent. In total, the mother-of-two was found with six category A images, eight category B images and 33 category C images.

Included were three prohibited images described as CGI cartoons or drawings. She has no previous convictions of any kind.

Barnes, of Coronation Drive, Widnes, pleaded guilty to one count of possessing indecent images of children, three counts of making indecent images of children, and one count of possessing prohibited images of children. Jim Smith, defending, reiterated that his client did not seek out these images, but did wholly accept her wrongdoing.

Julie Barnes (Liverpool Echo)

He said the situation came about because of her loneliness and isolation due to mental and physical health difficulties, and she has suffered immeasurably since the initial visit from the police. He said: “She is a considerate and loving mother of her two children who in turn give support to her.

“She has done volunteer work in the past and of course embraces friendships and provides support herself despite the many difficulties and hardships she has encountered in her life.” Recorder Tania Griffiths KC said: “It is a very strange account where you could imagine images like this ending up on there but I accept that she did not solicit them."

In sentencing, she said: “I accept this came about due to loneliness rather than any sexual interest in children. While I accept there is no evidence that you solicited this material, you created the circumstances with your Facebook account that made the sharing of this material possible.

“This was disgraceful and shameful behaviour. I accept that you are remorseful but that is little consolation to the children who suffered in these offences.”

A community order was imposed for 18 months, and Barnes was ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days. She will also be subject to a sexual harm prevention order and notification requirements for five years, and forfeiture and destruction of the Samsung seized was ordered.

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