A DEPRAVED sex predator from Prestonfield who boasted of his child abuse during online chats with other paedophiles was jailed for 14 years today.
Former sheriff 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 little boy after the primary school pupil, who had undiagnosed dyslexia, struggled with a word in his home work.
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 being abused.
A judge told Hawkins: “For my part I am left in no doubt that you are a devious, ruthless and dangerous sexual predator and an unrepentant paedophile.”
Lord Pentland said at the High Court in Edinburgh that Hawkins had shown no remorse or insight into the harm his offending had caused.
He told him: “You are an intelligent man and must have been fully aware of how profoundly wrong your actions were.”
The judge said that the abuse carried out by the predator has had “a devastating and lasting effect” on the lives of victims.
He ordered that Hawkins be kept under supervision and monitoring for a further five year period following the jail sentence and told him he would be on the sex offenders’ register for the remainder of his life.
An earlier trial heard that an examination of equipment found at Hawkins’ home revealed that he had amassed a collection of child pornography in photos and movies some of which was among the most extreme seen by analysts. Over 1100 images and more than 330 film clips were in the most serious category.
One analyst said she had worked on the materiel 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.”
Hawkins online communications with other paedophiles on a file sharing site were also recovered by the police.
Hawkins, formerly of Prestonfield Road, in Edinburgh, 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.
Lord Pentland earlier told him: “In your evidence you claimed your accusers were liars and their allegations false. The jury has seen through your lies.”
He said he had not the slightest doubt that Hawkins was “a dangerous, devious sexual predator” and a serial paedophile.
The judge said: “The impact on your victims has been enormous. They all deserve enormous credit for their courage in coming forward and giving evidence in the present proceedings.”
“You must have thought that with the passage of time you had escaped justice but that is incorrect,” the judge told him.
The judge told jurors at the end of Hawkins trial that it had been “a distressing, harrowing and exceptionally serious case” and that he would discharge them from further jury service for 10 years.
During the evidence one man told the court how he had heard Hawkins rape his mother at Southernness 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.
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,” he said.
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.
A second woman who was raped by Hawkins said he had sex with her despite him telling “no”.
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 that 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 said: “I found it very difficult at the time because of my dyslexia which had not been diagnosed.”
He said Hawkins was carrying out a chore and told him he had until he finished with the task to get the word he was struggling over.
“I thought I was going to get punished. Panic set in and I froze. I couldn’t get the word,” he said.
“He grabbed me and he slammed my head up against the oven door. I fell to the ground and I got picked up. I got dragged from the kitchen to the bedroom,” he said.
He was thrown onto a bed and his trousers and underwear was pulled down before he was subjected to a painful sexual assault.
One woman, now aged 31, who was subjected to escalating abuse by Hawkins as a schoolgirl in Edinburgh said she felt “trapped”.
Hawkins got her to perform sex acts on him and took naked photographs of her as a child. Hawkins later revealed during internet chat with other paedophiles from England, France, Germany and Canada that he had “teached” the victim from the age of 11 to pleasure him and as she got older he carried out sex acts on her.
But 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.”
Hawkins told the court he suffers from panic attacks, agoraphobia, gout and severe high blood pressure.
Mr Kerrigan said that Hawkins had been assessed as posing a medium risk and argued that he could be dealt with without imposing an Order for Lifelong Restriction.
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