Rapist devastates family

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013

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The sister of a 13-year-old rape victim helped bring her attacker to justice with her own cunning plan.

Larry Barr, 54, was last year found guilty by a jury on three charges of rape, one of doing an indecent act on a young girl and one of unlawful sexual connection.

He was yesterday sentenced to 12 years' jail by Judge Barney Thomas in the Hamilton District Court.

Barr began his offending after befriending the victim, her siblings and her family, who lived on the rural property they shared in North Waikato.

The court heard that the victim was a shy girl who Barr found easy to strike up a friendship with.

She would do tasks around Barr's house and raised a calf given to her by him.

Eventually, at the beginning of Easter Weekend in 2010, she and her siblings got her mother's permission to spend the night at Barr's house.

That first night, Barr raped the victim, and did it again in the morning.

To be able to carry on his offending, Barr threatened to reveal information about her father that could result in him being jailed.

Barr then used this threat to ensure the victim still frequented his house - for the next nine months - so he could continue his sexual offending.

During that time he lavished the victim with gifts - a cellphone, jewellery and visits to the movies.

But when the victim's father saw Barr in Waikeria Prison visiting an inmate - a convicted paedophile - he ensured his children had no more to do with him.

And although that stopped the sexual assaults, it didn't stop Barr trying to make contact with the victim by phone.

The victim's sister became suspicious and hatched a plan to defraud Barr of $700 by getting him to pay $700 for a "school camp".

Barr's sordid world began to unfold when he rang the school regarding the money - and was told there was no school camp.

The victim's father then went to the school, before police were alerted.

Barr's lawyer Kit Clews said his client had an otherwise clean record and had strong family and community support.

Barr and his family had also raised $10,000 for emotional harm reparation - a gesture that Judge Thomas said would help reduce his sentence.

That, together with his previous good character, resulted in Judge Thomas handing down a total sentence of 12 years' prison.

Judge Thomas said Barr had transformed the victim from a happy, content A-grade student to a "broken creature at the other end of the scale".

The victim's family had also been devastated, transforming from "happy and bonded" to an angry, divided one.

However, Judge Thomas was disappointed Barr had denied the offending throughout, but said the reparation would be some recognition.

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- Waikato Times

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