14 years for sex predator
A predator has been jailed for 14 years for serious sex attacks on women and children, including one incident at Southerness Caravan Park, between 1990 and 2002.
Robert Hawkins had already pleaded guilty to being in possession of thousands of indecent images of children between 2006 and 2016.
He had denied sexually assaulting a boy from the age of six to nine; a girl aged six to seven; and two women who are now aged 57 and 53.
But he was convicted in June following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The 58-year-old had been remanded in custody and was sentenced on Friday.
Following a significant investigation by Edinburgh’s Public Protection Unit, substantial evidence was gathered against Hawkins before he was arrested and charged in connection with the offences which took place at various addresses in Edinburgh as well as in Dumfries.
On Friday, Detective Sergeant David Brady from Edinburgh’s PPU said: “Robert Hawkins is a dangerous and predatory individual who committed a number of extremely serious sexual offences against women and children over a prolonged period of time.
“The evidence gathered against Hawkins during our investigation was overwhelming.
“However, his conviction was only possible thanks to the bravery of the victims in coming forward to report the abuse that they had suffered.
“I want to reassure the public that we continue to treat all reports of sexual crime with the utmost seriousness and wi l l investigate offences robustly and professionally.
“We are committed to getting justice for victims and providing them with all possible support.”
During the trial, one man told the court how he had heard Hawkins rape his mother at Southerness caravan park in 1992 after he was sent out to play as a child.
The man, now aged 35, said he and his brother were told to leave the caravan before the sex attack.
He said: “I do remember hearing my mum being raped. I remember feeling distinctly powerless to do anything. I think I was nine years old and scared.
“I distinctly remember my mum saying ‘no, no, no,’ over and over again.”
During his evidence, Hawkins claimed he had never interfered with children and when his counsel Herbert Kerrigan QC asked him why he had said he had done such things online, he replied: “I have no idea, unless it was boasting or bragging. I don’t remember the conversation.”
Jailed Predator Robert Hawkins