Paedophile ex-court worker boasted about online abuse of kids

A DEPRAVED sex predator from Prestonfield who boasted of his child abuse during online chats with other paedophiles has been warned he could face a life sentence.

Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 9:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 9:36 pm
The case continues at the High Court in Edinburgh.
The case continues at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Former court security supervisor Robert Hawkins, 58, raped women and molested children during a 14-year catalogue of horrific sex crimes.

Hawkins carried out a painful sex attack on one boy after the primary school pupil, who had undiagnosed dyslexia, struggled with a word in his homework.

When police went to detain Hawkins at his home in Edinburgh, they found a switched on computer with a screen saver revealing indecent images of children.

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An examination of equipment revealed Hawkins had amassed a collection of child pornography in photos and movies, some of which was among the most extreme seen by analysts.

More than 1100 images and more than 330 film clips were in the most serious category.

One analyst said she had worked on the material more than two years ago, but still remembers some of the images.

She said: “I have never seen children as young as six months being abused before.”

A judge yesterday ordered that a full risk assessment be carried out on Hawkins by an expert focused on the threat he poses to public safety.

Such a report can lead to a court imposing an indeterminate sentence under an Order for Lifelong Restriction on the offender where a judge sets a minimum term he must serve in prison, but any decision over if and when to release him is left to parole authorities.

Lord Pentland said at the High Court in Edinburgh: “There is overwhelming evidence the prisoner is a serial paedophile who has, over a protracted period of time, abused children.”

Hawkins, formerly from Prestonfield Road, had earlier denied raping two women, assaulting a boy and indecency offences against a girl committed between 1990 and 2004, but was convicted of all the offences.

He had previously admitted possessing child pornography between 2006 and 2016.

During the evidence, one man told the court how he had heard Hawkins rape his mother at Southerness caravan park in Dumfriesshire 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.

Following the caravan attack on the woman in 1992, Hawkins subjected the victim, now aged 59, to a further rape at a house in Edinburgh when he pushed her to the floor.

One man, now aged 32, who was subjected to brutal sexual abuse by Hawkins as a child said he was terrified of him.

He told the court he had started primary school and had been at a house in Edinburgh struggling with homework with Hawkins the only adult present at the time.

He described being thrown onto a bed and his trousers and underwear pulled down before he was subjected to a painful sexual assault.

Lord Pentland continued the case until October for the preparation of the full risk assessment report and ordered Hawkins be held in Saughton Prison.