For the people in the tourist resort of Tavronitis, Douglas Barr was a retired rugby player and former pub owner, who relocated to Crete in 2007, in order to spend the later years of his life under the Greek sun. Burly and outgoing, the 56-year-old was in good terms with the members of the Brit expat community of the small town, always up for fun and games. Now this community is waking up to face the dark truth. Behind the friendly neighbour facade, was hiding a violent monster, a gun-obsessed rapist who locked and tortured children in the basement of his villa, the Mirror describes
It all unravelled when Barr was arrested in January last year following a dispute over a car crash he was involved in with a neighbour. After drunk-driving into the parked car of Florist Danai Dagunakis, 28, the man responded to her complains by threatening her with a gun. One of the witnesses recognised her assailant and decided to step up and confront him.
This led to another confession, made by another victim to one of Barr’s neighbours, who alerted the British consulate. Both testimonies were heard during the trial that ensued, describing how Barr locked the children in his dark basement lair, tortured them, shaved their heads and eybrows and repeatedly abused them.
“The psychological and physical violence against these children paints a picture of a villain which not even Charles Dickens could have imagined”, said the attorney presenting the case in court, who described Barr as “the definition of barbarity”.
It is understood the abuse stretched back a number of years. The allegations sparked an international investigation, which involved council officials in Leeds, where Barr and his wife Julie had previously lived, raising no concerns about his behaviour. However, according to the Leeds Council officials, an anonymous letter had been sent in August 2014, accusing Barr of the horrific actions; it was then passed to the Greek authorities for further investigation. The two countries have been co-investigating the case since.
Adding insult to injury, it was revealed In court that Barr – who had never played for the Leeds Rhinos, as he had claimed – was living off welfare, funding his lifestyle courtesy of British taxpayers. It was estimated that he could have been receiving up to £4,500 ($8,740) a month in benefits.
He was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in jail. He will serve in one of the toughest prisons in Greece, among fellow sex offenders, people traffickers and drug dealers. As a result of the ongoing financial crisis in Greece, prisons face severe cuts and the Grevena jail has become infamous in recent years for chronic overcrowding, food shortages and brutal prisoner beatings.
source: Mirror, Daily Mail, Neos Kosmos