14 years for sex preda­tor

The Galloway News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE -

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

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