February 2017

Ex-teacher who posed as lawyer to contact paedophile jailed

robert_lightband

A former teacher who posed as a lawyer to send letters depicting child abuse to a paedophile behind bars has been jailed.

Robert Lightband, who was previously a history teacher at Menzieshill High School in Dundee, was jailed for three and a half years on Monday.

Lightband attempted to defraud prison guards at HMP Perth into passing a 14 page document containing “graphic and distressing” descriptions of the abuse of children to convicted paedophile Jason Jordan.

Serial sex offender Jordan was last year put on a lifelong restriction order and ordered to spend at least four years in jail after being caught in possession of child abuse images.

Lightband, who was jailed last year for downloading indecent images of children, wrote “legal correspondence” on the front of his letter.

It purported to come from an Edinburgh law firm called Goodwin Moir because letters between solicitors and their clients are not usually opened by jail staff for confidentiality.

Prison guards were suspicious because the “legal correspondence” line was handwritten and the letter was not franked as legal letters usually are.

An investigation revealed there was no such firm as Goodwin Moir so the letter was opened.

Inside they found a two-page letter purporting to be from “Robert Lightband solicitor”.

More disturbingly, a 12-page document was attached in which the 70-year-ol wrote about child abuse to Jordan, who the court heard he had “acquainted” in Perth Prison’s sex offender unit.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael placed Lightband on the sex offenders register for ten years and imposed a ten-year sexual offences prevention order.

The sheriff said: “This is an extremely serious case and an attack on the solicitor-client relationship.

“I conclude that your behaviour was designed to circumvent the conditions of your sexual offences order. 

“Viewing and downloading indecent images is part of the process of child abuse. Each image represents the abuse of a child and by viewing these images you create a demand for them.”

Lightband was jailed last March when a cache of child abuse images was found on his computer after he gave it to a technician when it got a virus.

He had avoided a jail term in 2002 when he was found with a folder filled with nude images of young boys.

Lightband – who advertises himself online as a semi-retired organist, organ consultant and organ teacher – was eventually jailed last year when he downloaded indecent images of children over a nine-month period in 2014 and 2015.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard he had downloaded six indecent images and 2000 “concerning images” over that time frame.

January 2017

Shamed teacher posed as lawyer to contact paedophile in jail

A shamed teacher posed as a lawyer in a bid to send letters depicting child abuse to a paedophile he met in jail.

Robert Lightband was previously a respected history teacher at Menzieshill High School in Dundee.

On Monday he was facing a lengthy jail term after attempting to defraud prison guards at HMP Perth into passing a 14-page document containing “graphic and distressing” descriptions of the abuse of children to convicted paedophile Jason Jordan.

Serial sex offender Jordan was last year put on a lifelong restriction order and ordered to spend at least four years in jail after being caught in possession of child abuse images.

Lightband, who was jailed last year for his second child pornography downloading offence, wrote “legal correspondence” on the front of his letter which purported to come from an Edinburgh law firm called Goodwin Moir because letters between solicitors and their clients are not usually opened by jail staff for confidentiality.

Prison guards were suspicious because the “legal correspondence” line was hand written and the letter was not franked as legal letters usually are.

An investigation revealed there was no such firm as Goodwin Moir so the letter was opened. Inside they found a two-page letter purporting to be from “Robert Lightband solicitor”.

More disturbingly, a 12-page document was attached in which Lightband spelled out depraved fantasies to Jordan, who the court heard he had “acquainted” in Perth Prison’s sex offender unit.

A court insider said: “The letter was far too graphic to be read in court. It was utterly disgusting – it shocked the prison staff, police and prosecutors alike with its content.”

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that Lightband had been released from jail in May last year and confessed he had immediately began downloading child pornography once released.

She said: “The addressee is on a lifelong restriction order and it is suspected they met while spending time together in prison.

“The accused’s laptop was seized under the terms of his sexual offences prevention order. When he was detained he said ‘there will be stuff you don’t like on the computer’.

“He freely admitted downloading indecent images since May 16, when he was released from prison. He deleted his search histories and his downloads, which is contrary to the order he is subject to.”

Lightband, 70, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of attempted fraud committed on September 29 last year and breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

Defence solicitor John Boyle said: “There is an entrenched sexual interest in young boys.

“He appreciates he shouldn’t have sent such a letter and certainly not in such a way to avoid detection by prison authorities.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael deferred sentence until February for social work background reports and remanded Lightband in custody meantime.

March 2016

Former Dundee teacher jailed for child abuse images

A former Dundee history teacher who was sacked in 2002 for possessing child abuse material has been jailed on new indecent images of children charges.

Robert Lightband, 69, was dismissed from Menzieshill High School, and his civic role as Dundee’s official organist, for the original offence.

The pensioner downloaded the latest child abuse images over a nine-month period between 2014 and 2015.

A sheriff said there was “no point” imposing a non-custodial sentence.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard Lightband was caught after giving his computer to a technician after it got a virus.

Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson said: “Search terms were found by the technician relating to paedophile groups.

“Police were called and, when interviewed, Lightband fully admitted downloading the images.

“He also admitted purchasing a pornographic paedophilic novel.

“He said he was attracted to boys aged 12 years and up.”

The court heard six indecent images were found as well as 2,000 “concerning” images featuring boys in swimming costumes and shorts.

John Boyle, defending, said: “He is honest enough to admit these offences are committed due to a sexual interest in young boys and that treatment is unlikely to change that.

“There are stringent conditions that could be imposed on him in the community.”

Lightband pleaded guilty to a charge of taking or making indecent photographs of children between June 2014 and February 2015.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael jailed Lightband for 145 days, imposed a seven-year sexual offences prevention order with numerous conditions and placed Lightband on the sex offenders register for seven years.

He said: “It seems to me there would be little or no point in imposing a community payback order due to the attitude you have expressed.

“There is no option but a custodial sentence.”

February 2016

Dundee paedophile teacher snared by computer technician

A convicted paedophile’s second stash of child abuse images of boys was discovered when he took his hard drive in for repair.

A sickened technician found a number of worrying internet searches and images on convicted sex offender Robert Lightband’s computer tower and contacted the police.

Police searches of his home also revealed the 69-year-old former Menzieshill History teacher and church organist had made numerous inappropriate searches.

He had visited paedophile forums and had also deliberately searched for sexually explicit images of young boys.

After details of his latest crimes were heard at Dundee Sheriff Court, sentence was deferred until next month to allow the court to obtain reports.

They will shape what happens next to Lightband, who was sentenced to three years’ probation after a previous offence dating back to 2001.

A cleaner discovered a stash of almost 90 indecent pictures of young boys in his bedroom.

That offence saw him lose his job at Menzieshill High School and be struck off as a teacher back in January 2002.

The latest offence saw Lightband, of Clepington Court, admit taking or allowing others to take indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children.

The offences occurred between June 16, 2014 and February 29 2015, both dates inclusive at his home address and elsewhere.

Lightband is currently banned from using the internet and is currently subject to further bail conditions including that he not delete his internet history and that he make any device capable of accessing the internet available for inspection by police officers.

He is also prevented from having any unsupervised contact with children under the age of 16 and is bound by the notification requirements of the sex offenders register.

Attempts to have the internet ban lifted in order to enable him to keep “a low profile” have been rebuffed by the court.

Former teacher admits new child abuse images charge

A former Dundee history teacher who was sacked in 2002 for possessing child abuse material has admitted a new indecent images charge.

Robert Lightband, 69, was dismissed from Menzieshill High School, and his civic role as Dundee’s official organist, for the original offence.

The pensioner downloaded the latest child abuse images over a nine-month period between 2014 and 2015.

He will return to Dundee Sheriff Court for sentencing on 9 February.

Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson told the court that Lightband had one previous conviction for possessing indecent images of children.

John Boyle, defending, said: “He is currently subject to stringent bail conditions regarding his internet use and that is causing him difficulties.

“Before he was charged he did his shopping and banking online and he has had to rely on the goodwill of friends to help.

“He expects there will be press coverage of this case and he would like to keep a low profile so asks that the condition stopping him using the internet is lifted.”

Lightband pleaded guilty to a charge of taking or making indecent photographs of children between June 2014 and February 2015.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael deferred sentence.

He said: “In light of the plea and his previous conviction I will not remove the bail condition.”

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