November 2016

Former Liverpool councillor uncovered as sick paedophile in police sting

roberts

THIS paedophile thought he was going to meet and sexually abuse a three-year-old girl at Heaton Park – but was instead met by police

A twisted paedophile’s secret life of depravity was exposed when he was snared in a police sting in Heaton Park.

Former Liberal Democrat chair and Warbreck councillor Richard Roberts, 66, travelled to Manchester from Liverpool believing he was meeting a fellow child molester, who was going to hand over his three-year-old granddaughter for him to sexually abuse.

But when he got to the rendezvous at Heaton Park , on April 21 this year, Roberts was stunned to be arrested by awaiting police.

Officers later discovered that he had amassed a catalogue of 850,000 child sexual abuse images over 14 years – which he incredibly claimed later ‘was like collecting stamps’.

In his car following the arrest, police found a video camera which he had planned to use to film himself molesting the child he planned to meet in Heaton Park.

An undercover officer had spent a month persuading Roberts that he too was a ‘paedo’ in an internet chat service used by child sex offenders.

Roberts, of Warbreck Avenue, Liverpool, even sent depraved images of abuse to the officer, who invented a fictional child to lure Roberts out.

Following his arrest, police seized computer equipment belonging to Roberts, who was respected in his neighbourhood as a keen charity fundraiser.

Police also learnt he had abused a vulnerable boy.

In a statement, the boy’s mother said she was ‘devastated’ at the revelation, adding: “All I can, and will do now, is pick up the pieces for my sweet little boy, every time this comes back to haunt him.”

Now Roberts has been given a 15-year jail sentence, with an extended licence period of five years, after admitting 16 charges, including offences of making and distributing indecent photos of children, possessing extreme pornography, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, and arranging a child sex offence.

He must sign the sex offenders register for life.

Sentencing, Judge Hilary Manley said she was ‘entirely persuaded’ that Roberts, who had never been caught before, was a dangerous offender who posed a ‘significant risk of serious harm’ to the public.

The judge described Roberts as a ‘pitiless and predatory, dangerous sexual offender against children’ who had left his male victim ‘irrevocably damaged’, while plotting to abuse a three-old girl as well.

Referring to the child sexual abuse images offences, the judge added: “You have described your amassing of this vile material as akin to collecting stamps.

“This could not be further from such a harmless pursuit. The descriptions of the material here are so horrible I have ordered it is not appropriate they are read out in court. Some involve what can only be properly described as torture.

“The undercover officer has to be commended for performing what must be extremely unpleasant and appalling work.”

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