September 2016

Former choirmaster jailed for ‘monstrous’ indecent assaults against boy


A CONVICTED paedophile who brushed off his past crimes against boys as “misplaced affection” was yesterday jailed for nine years for molesting and corrupting another young lad.

Former choirmaster and music teacher Robert Lambie befriended the teenager and exploited him when he went to him for advice.

Last night, the victim – in court to see the predator found guilty – said: “This creature violated my whole world and conditioned my sexual preferences to suit himself.”

Lambie, now 79, secretly bought the youngster Christmas presents when he abused him in the 1990s, a court heard.

He denied eight charges of indecent assault, but was found guilty after a jury deliberated for just 80 minutes. He was cleared of two more serious sexual charges.

Judge Sean Morris, at Teesside Crown Court, told the pervert: “Had you been the Christian you professed to be before this jury, you would have admitted these offences.”

Lambie was jailed for six years in 2014 for grooming and fondling two schoolboys in the 1980s when he lived in Darlington. He admitted the offences.

The keen photographer treated his victims to days out and made them feel special before persuading them to let him picture them in their underwear, a judge heard.

He was told: “You gained a high degree of respect and trust within the church, but that was used as a cloak behind which you would gain the confidence of those boys.”

After the case two years ago, another victim came forward and told police he had been groomed by Lambie before he was abused and shown cross-dressing photos and films.

At a trial this week, Lambie, who had also been clerk to the chapter at Ripon Cathedral in North Yorkshire, said he is “entirely heterosexual” with no sexual interest in children.

He said he had simply “overstepped the boundaries of friendship” when he abused the boys in the 1980s, but that did not mean he had done it again a decade later.

But the jury of seven women and five men took little time to see through the lies and accept what the judge said later was “the most overwhelming evidence”.

He told Lambie he had carried out a “monstrous catalogue of offending” which had left his loner victim – now an adult – struggling to cope with life and his feelings.

August 2014

Church choirmaster jailed for six years for abusing boys

A CHOIRMASTER who used his respected church links as “a cloak” to groom and abuse boys is now starting a six-year prison sentence.

Robert Lambie, now 77, treated his two victims to days out and made them feel special before persuading them to be photographed in their underwear.

The former music teacher moved on to abusing them once their complete trust had been won, a judge at Teesside Crown Court said yesterday.

Lambie lived in Darlington and was highly thought-of within the church and the community – but led a secret double-life only his victims knew about.

One of those he abused was given permission to read an impact statement in court, and revealed why he finally went to the police in January last year.

He had promised to keep his ordeal private unless he became aware others had been targeted or that divorcee Lambie was again working with children.

The victim said he had “carefully and deliberately” put it in the past, but felt he had to act when he saw that the pensioner was advertising music lessons.

Another victim said in a statement, read out by prosecutor Paul Cleasby: “All the things lavished on me were a way of getting me to trust him . . .”

Lambie, now of Bowmont Walk, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, admitted four charges of sexual assault when he was due to stand trial.

His barrister, Annalise Haugstad, told Judge Peter Bowers that his guilty pleas had saved the victims from reliving their ordeals in the witness box.

Speaking to one of the men after the case, the judge said: “Thank you for having the courage to speak out about what happened to you.

“Without victims such as you coming forward – and they are often afraid to – predatory defendants are not brought to justice.”

Lambie was also banned from working with children, put on the sex offenders’ register for life and stopped from having unsupervised access to under-16s.

The judge told him: “It is necessary the public are assured that you are not teaching children in the future.

“You gained a high degree of respect and trust, but that was used by you as a cloak behind which you would gain the confidence of those boys.”

The court heard that Lambie was living in the Thirsk area of North Yorkshire at the time of his arrest.

After hearing the police were looking for him, Lambie is thought to have used file deleting software to get rid of pictures of young boys from his computer.

Miss Haugstad said: “The defendant has taken full responsibility, apologises to his victims and his own family for the distress he has caused.

“Within the context of Mr Lambie’s 77 years, the period of offending over which these incidents took place is a relatively short one.”

Judge Bowers was handed a bundle of “impressive” references from family, friends, people linked to the church and parents which “emphasised what was a long life of public service”

The judge told him: “Whether you realised it or not, by your conduct, you were carefully grooming them to ensure your advances were not rejected.”