November 2017

Paedophile travelled 370 miles to rape girl

A paedophile who travelled 370 miles with a cuddly toy and 48 condoms expecting to rape an eight-year-old girl has been jailed.

Robert Burns, 48, from Glasgow, believed he had been exchanging explicit messages with the child’s mother via a child abuse website based in Russia.

But in fact he had been snared in police sting and was arrested on his arrival to meet the youngster at Luton airport, after travelling down south by coach. 

Today Burns appeared for sentence from Bedford prison having earlier pleaded guilty to arranging the commission of a child sex offence.

He was sentenced to five and a half year jail sentence with an extended licence period of four and a half years, at Luton Crown Court.

 It means that when Burns is released from prison he will be monitored by probation officers until 2027 and will be liable to be recalled.

The court heard how during graphic online exchanges, Burns said he liked girls aged nine to 12 and thought that a youngster would be provided for him. 

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew said that when his belongings were searched officers found 48 condoms, a cuddly toy, a jewellery box, a money box, two dolls and a Valentine cracker containing dare dice to be used in a sex game.

Children’s toys were also found in his Glasgow flat when that was searched. 

Pictures of teenage girls were also found hanging on the wall.

Judge Michael Kay QC said he found it ‘astonishing’ that sites such as the one Burns visited were not blocked. 

He described the online conversations Burns had as: ‘shocking and perverted.’

Referring to a pre-sentence report, he told Burns: ‘You have no insight into the effect of what you planned would have psychologically let alone physically on a child of eight.

‘It was A, wrong, B, evil and C, out of step with what any reasonable person would think.’

He must register as a sex offender for life and abide by the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.