A ‘MANIPULATIVE’ and ‘dangerous’ paedophile is facing life behind bars – the first life sentence ever to be imposed on a rapist by a Jersey court.
Ian Stafford Bartlett (55), who admitted a string of sex offences, will serve a minimum of ten years and can only be released when authorities decide that he no longer poses a threat to young girls.
His prolonged campaign of abuse was yesterday described as the worst case of a sustained sexual abuse on a single victim that has ever come before the Island’s courts.
Bartlett will be able to apply for release after ten years in prison, but even if he is released the 55-year-old will remain on licence, giving the authorities powers to monitor him for the rest of his life.
Dressed in a blue suit and flanked by prison guards, Bartlett gave no reaction as the sentence was passed by the Royal Court yesterday.
The former owner of the Bonne Nuit Thai Beach Café had admitted rape, inciting acts of gross indecency and indecent assault all against the same victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, over a period of several years. He also pleaded guilty to downloading more than 3,000 illegal images and videos of child abuse.
The Superior Number of the Royal Court – which is only convened for the most serious cases – heard that Bartlett, who had previously received psychiatric help due to his sexual interest in young girls, had a ‘proven capacity to lie to professionals’ and that he was at high risk of ‘sexual re-conviction’.
A statement from the victim was also read to the court. It said: ‘The most important thing is he took away my childhood.
‘A childhood is the moment in everybody’s life that they want to go backto and remember the most, but I just want to forget mine.’
Outlining the case Crown Advocate Richard Pedley said: ‘This is the worst case of a sustained sexual abuse on a single victim that has ever come before the Island courts.’
The court heard that Bartlett had three prior incidents of ‘sexual misbehaviour’ between 1986 and 1995 all of which had been dealt with by parish hall inquiry. These included him hiding in a bush outside a school and performing a solo sex act.
After being caught on another occasion in 1995, he told police that he had sexual fantasies about girls and said: ‘I’ve been watching children all over the Island.’
On two of these occasions Bartlett accepted psychiatric help.
A psychological report by Dr David Briggs said that Bartlett had a ‘proven capacity to lie to professionals’ and that he did not know if any future treatment was ‘likely to be effective’.
And a report by the Probation Service said that Bartlett was a ‘highly manipulative’ and ‘highly dangerous’ individual who had partly blamed his victim for the abuse.
Advocate Pedley told the court: ‘The Crown submits that only a life sentence can provide the necessary protection from the danger the defendant poses to female children.
‘To make an assessment as to whether it is safe for the defendant to be released following a determinate sentence is not possible. He needs prolonged expert assessment and treatment.’
Advocate Adam Harrison, defending, said that the offences were ‘not sufficient’ for a life sentence to be justified.
He added that his client should be given credit for co-operating with police and for his early guilty pleas.
The Bailiff, William Bailhache, told Bartlett: ‘The reasons for the court’s decision [on giving a life sentence] will be handed down as soon as possible.’
He also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the electronic devices which contained the indecent images.
Jurats Geoffrey Fisher, Suzanne Marett-Crosby, Paul Nicolle, Sylvia Milner, John Le Breton and Stanley Le Cornu were sitting.
Jersey Evening Post