April 2005

Fears as child rapist to be freed after 4 years in jail

CONCERNS have been expressed after it emerged a man who was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl will be released from prison early without attending a rehabilitation programme.

Dalkeith man Robert Moffat, 41, has always maintained his innocence and has refused to enter a sex offenders’ programme in prison.

Following his conviction, the father-of-two appealed, stating the child had based her evidence on scenes screened in the soap opera Brookside. His claim was rejected by a judge.

News of the release was revealed in a petition to the Scottish Parliament in which Moffat also complained of the conditions in prison.

“My time in prison is almost over and I will be released within the next three months,” he wrote from prison in Dumfries.

A prison source confirmed Moffat was expected to be released on parole in the summer after serving only four of his original six-year sentence

It is also understood that Moffat was transferred from the sex offenders’ unit at Peterhead Prison without attending a rehabilitation programme as he constantly maintained his innocence.

The secretary of the Dalkeith and District Community Council, Ann Stewart-Kmitcha, said there would be concerns within the close-knit neighbourhood if he returned to the area.

“I am concerned that we have a lot of people in the community who are quite volatile,” she said.

She added that Moffat’s home area of Woodburn was subject to significant attention from groups attempting to combat antisocial behaviour. Kenny MacAskill, SNP shadow justice and home affairs spokesman, said public safety was paramount.

“Obviously, he [Moffat] would have been assessed by the parole board and we have to accept that,” he said.

“Serious sex offenders are few in number but highly dangerous and it is crucial they are properly monitored, not simply put on the sex offenders’ register.

“That means the Scottish Executive must ensure police and social work departments are properly resourced. Public safety demands it.”

Moffat, a delivery driver, was dragged from the dock by police officers after a jury unanimously convicted him in 2001.

During the trial, the jury heard Moffat’s victim had been baby-sitting while her mother went out with friends – including Moffat and his partner.

When they returned with a carry-out, she went to bed.

Thirteen-stone Moffat later pounced on the teenager as she slept in her room.

When the girl reported Moffat to police, she handed officers a cigarette lighter and keys which she said her 6ft 2in attacker had left in her bed.

A spokeswoman for charity Children First said: “It’s obviously crucial that sex offenders are released back into the community only when it is assessed as safe for that to happen – that they are not released only to offend again.

“The Scottish Executive’s recently announced review into the management of sex offenders into the community is welcome.”

At his appeal, Moffat, then of Woodburn Drive, Dalkeith, claimed the girl had fabricated her evidence after seeing the Channel 4 show Brookside, in which a girl was raped twice at a party.

In the programme, a character was attacked after being given the date rape drug Rohypnol. She was raped again by the same man after a short interval.

Moffat claimed that he went to the room to comfort the girl after she had a row with her mother.

December 2001

Rapist Moffat says victim copied Brookie storyline

A CONVICTED child rapist is trying to get out of prison by saying his victim’s evidence was copied from a Brookside storyline. 

Beast Robert Moffat, 41, claims he was unjustly jailed after a 13-year- old girl accused him of repeated rape, similar to scenes from the TV soap.

He said the girl, who can not be named for legal reasons, invented the allegations after seeing the rape plot unfold on Channel 4. 

Moffat, from Dalkeith, Midlothian, is serving a six-year prison term. 

He was sentenced a month after the controversial episodes were screened in December 1998. 

His lawyer, Robbie Burnett, said: “I have been advised that the evidence was identical to an episode seen before the report was made to the police.” 

The girl, now 16, said Moffat sneaked into her bedroom and raped her during a Christmas party. 

She said he returned to rape her a second time after leaving the room for 10 minutes – like the Brookside episode. 

In the soap show, aired on Boxing Day 1988, blonde Nikki Chadwick was raped after a man sneaked into her bedroom during araucous party. 

The TV teenager, who did not raise the alarm until much later, had been slipped date rape drug Rohypnol and was not able to fight her attacker off. 

Mr Burnett, who plans to call for an appeal, has already requested a tape of the rape scene from Channel 4. 

He said: “I hope to have the case given over to investigators very soon indeed. 

September 2001

Evil child rapist on the run

A CHILD rapist was on the run last night after failing to turn up for his appeal. 

Judges issued a warrant for the arrest of twisted Robert Moffat, 41, who had been released after challenging the conviction. 

The perv was sentenced to six years for twice raping a 13-year-old girl during a party at her mum’s home in Midlothian. She told his trial: “I felt so weak I couldn’t shout.” 

Patrick Wheatley, defending, said Moffat, of Dalkeith, had been contacted and had “thought the better of it” but would take hours to reach court. 

Moffat’s appeal was thrown out by the Appeal Court in Edinburgh.

October 2000 – when 38-year-old Pearl Moffat, from Dalkeith, stood by her common-law husband Robert after he had been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl.

At the time, she said that she did not believe that her husband had committed the crime, insisting that 42-year-old Moffat was a family man who worshipped their 14-year-old twin daughters.

“His family is his life,” she said. “He worships his daughters and he’s a brilliant husband and that’s why I’m sticking by him.”

A woman decides to stand by her man as part of a denial process. They can’t accept that their man was that monster because if they did, where would that leave them? Instead, they have to bolster up the status quo in their own mind by standing by him and denying all the evidence to the contrary.

“Publicly standing by your man is also a way of hanging on to your past. Many women live their lives through their men and are not used to dealing with factual evidence. Instead they tend to go on emotional evidence. Therefore, if she accepts that her partner is a monster, she would then have to accept that her life with him has been a lie.

“That would make her question her judgment, everything she has believed in and everything she is. Ultimately, she would then see her life as a failure, because what is important about women who stand by their men is that they have nothing else in their lives.”