November 2016

Eyemouth sex offender Robert Edwards left in charge of baby

A sex offender banned from having any contact with children was left alone in charge of a one-year-old baby, a court has heard.

Robert Edwards, 62, of Eyemouth, admitted breaching the terms of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

He had only been released from prison a few days earlier when he was left in charge of the child in Jedburgh on Wednesday.

He was jailed for 200 days at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

The court heard how he had been invited to stay at the home of a friend in Jedburgh shortly after his release from prison.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser said his friend and another woman, who had the child with her, had then decided to go to Hawick leaving Edwards with the infant.

He added that it appeared the baby’s mother had been unaware that Edwards was a sex offender.

Mr Fraser described the offence as a “spectacular” breach of the order and said it was concerning as Edwards had a previous conviction for assaulting a child of a similar age.

Social workers were tipped off that he was alone in the house with the child and the police were called.

Defence lawyer Fiona Hamilton said the child was meant to be watched by a neighbour who was unable to do so.

She said Edwards thought the two women were only going to a nearby shop for 20 minutes and was unaware they had gone to Hawick.

Ms Hamilton said he had tried to comply with the order and there was no planning involved in being in contact with the child.

She added: “He did not want to say no.”

Sheriff Peter Paterson jailed him for 80 days and added another 120 days for an unexpired part of his previous prison sentence after being released early.

Earlier this year Edwards was jailed for 12 months after a jury at Selkirk Sheriff Court convicted him of speaking to two children aged five and two at a bus stop.

Then, on a bus journey between Berwick and Eyemouth, he also offered them money and sweets – which breached the terms of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order.