May 2019

Child sex predator is caged for 15 months over nude picture

A child sex predator who sent a nude picture of himself to an undercover paedophile hunter has been caged for 15 months.

Robert Gibson, 41, formerly of Bridge of the Weir was jailed after trying to groom someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl for sex, when, in fact, she was an adult decoy

Gibson was actually in touch with a member of Wolf Pack Hunters UK, which roots out and identifies online groomers who target children.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard Gibson was unmasked after the group confronted him at his parents’ address over sexually explicit conversations with an adult volunteer, who had been posing as a youngster called Ava during social media chats.

Procurator fiscal depute Keri Marshall said: “Witness is a 46-year-old female and part of a group called Wolf Pack Hunters UK.

“She was posing as Ava, a 12-year-old female child, on the social media network Skout.

“She was contacted by the accused, whose profile name was Robert. He had a profile picture of his face.

“Between February 21 and February 26, the accused chatted to Ava via Skout.”

Ms Marshall explained that Gibson continued his contact with Ava on messaging service WhatsApp.

Ms Marshall said: “From this point on, the conversations became more sexualised, despite her advising him she was only 12.

“During conversations he said he wanted to teach her to kiss, that he wanted her to touch his private parts and that he wanted to have sex with her without wearing a condom.”

The court heard screen shots of these lurid chats were saved by Ms Ferry.

These included exchanges where he told Ava he could show her that “sex is not sore”, and he asked her if her mum “checked” her phone.

The prosecutor added: “Noting her reply, ‘no’, the accused asked her if she wanted to see a naughty picture, telling her it was for her eyes only.

“The accused sent her a photograph of himself naked with his private parts clearly exposed.

“The accused’s face is quite clear from that photograph.”

Ms Ferry went with the Wolf Pack Hunters UK group and confronted Gibson over his communications with Ava.

Dumbstruck Gibson replied: “I am f*****. I will lose my job.”

Gibson has resigned from his job at the UK Passport Office, has since been kicked out of his parents’ house and had been living in homeless accommodation.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of sending indecent communications to a person he believed to be under the age of 13, for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification, or causing humiliation, distress or alarm to her, and to causing her to look at a sexual image for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification.

Gibson appeared for sentencing before Sheriff Frances McCartney after the court had obtained background reports.

Sheriff McCartney told Gibson: “This is a very serious matter. You have never served a period of custody before nor do you have any previous convictions.

“Notwithstanding that for charge one, only a custodial sentence is an appropriate given the gravity of the offence.”

She handed him 15 months in custody and placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.