November 2016

Paedophile blamed sex assault on schoolboy on his ‘gay twin brother’


A paedophile who sexually touched a schoolboy on a bus and then claimed his gay TWIN was to blame has been spared jail.

Robert Mason, 41, sat behind the 14-year-old before repeatedly poking his neck and then stroking him underneath his shirt.

But when he was confronted about the offence by the victim’s brother, he claimed he hadn’t done anything and said he had a twin brother who was gay.

A court heard Mason told the victim: “I am sick of him doing it. He is always doing it.”

Mason, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs., admitted sexual assault and was handed a three-year community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 40 days.

He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order until further notice and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

Sentencing him on Wednesday at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, Recorder Andrew Easteal said: “You distressed and frightened a 14-year-old boy.

“He, understandably, now is very anxious when out in public. He is anxious about using public transport and has lost a degree of his confidence.

“That is because of what you did to him on that bus. That is why it is so serious.

“Normally when somebody does what you did they go to prison for it.

“But although you poked him a number of times, and at one time put your hand underneath his shirt touching his side, it did not go any further and he was able to get away from you.”

The court heard the victim was on a First Potteries bus travelling from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, when Mason sat behind him.

Prosecutor Gerry Bermingham said: “The complainant felt fingers on the back of his head.

“He re-positioned himself so he could see the man out the corner of his eye.

“He felt uneasy but tried to forget about it. The bus left the station at about 4pm.

“The man behind him started to poke his head with his finger gently again. He did so several times.

“Each time he did this the victim looked at him to say: ‘What are you doing?’

“But the man put his head down and looked at the floor. It was almost like he was playing a child’s game.

“As the bus approached Longton the victim felt an open palm feel the left side of his torso.

“The young man turned around and said: ‘What the hell do you think you are doing?’

“The defendant did not reply. He kept looking to the floor.

“The young man again asked: ‘What the hell do you think you are doing’?

“The man replied: ‘Nothing, I am touching the windows’.

“The complainant replied: ‘You can’t be touching the windows. You are touching my side’. He moved seats.”

The court heard the next time the victim saw Mason he was with his brother who confronted him about the assault.

But Mr Bermingham said Mason replied: “I have not been doing anything. It is my twin brother. He is gay. I am sick of him doing it. He is always doing it.”

The court also heard the incident left the teenager upset and worried about using public transport again.

Adam Till, defending, said Mason, who does not have a brother, was “ashamed” of his actions.

Speaking after the case, a First Potteries spokesman said: “The safety and well-being of our passengers and staff is paramount.

“If any criminal activity takes place on one of our buses, we will always do everything we can to assist the police in finding and prosecuting the person carrying out the offence.”