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Friday, 31 October 2014

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‘Sexual deviant’ could have been jailed years ago

A SEX attacker jailed indefinitely for stripping naked and abusing a woman he had imprisoned in his flat could have been locked up years ago after committing lewd acts in front of three teenage girls he had chased.

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Sex attacker: John Robinson held a woman prisoner in his flat

Details of John Robinson’s sordid past were revealed as he was sentenced for sexually assaulting the woman after falsely imprisoning her in his flat in Wigton.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that as well as convictions for drunkenness and assault, the former shop worker, 45 – described by Judge Paul Batty QC as “a sexual deviant and a danger to women” – had others for climbing into a disused factory and indecently exposing himself to two women who walked past, and for committing a sex act outside a women’s refuge after banging on the window to attract the attention of the people inside.

But Judge Batty said the most troubling incident was one which had not resulted in a conviction – because the parents of the three schoolgirls involved had refused to let their daughters give evidence against him.

On that occasion, the court heard, Robinson had chased the girls through the city centre after spotting them in the McDonalds restaurant in Scotch Street. They ran down the street towards the Wilkinsons store, but he followed them. Then they ran again – towards the cathedral – but he caught up with them.

“He ran up to them with his trousers down, and then pulled his pants down,” prosecuting counsel Antony Longworth said. Robinson then threatened to kill the girls if they moved – telling them he would shoot them with the gun he had in his pocket.

The girls – “in distress” – ran again, and still Robinson chased them, until the police arrived, having been alerted by a van driver who saw what was going on.

Mr Longworth said the evidence against Robinson was “solid” but the case never got to court because the girls’ parents would not let them give evidence. Instead Robinson was allowed to go free until he was arrested for the sex attack on the woman in his flat.

The woman, in her late 30s, had gone back to his flat above a shop in Wigton’s High Street one night last September. Once inside, he locked the door, took off all his clothes and spiked her drink so she fell asleep. When she woke, she found herself on the end of his bed. By the time she managed to flee through a window – helped by two men from a nearby newsagents’ who saw her sitting screaming for help on the windowsill – she had been in his flat for about five hours.

At his trial, Robinson claimed that the woman was only climbing out of the window because she had stolen £20 from him. And, he said, she made up the story about the sexual assault only because she heard he was accusing her of theft.

Passing sentence yesterday Judge Batty said the case was “extremely troubling”, not least because Robinson showed “absolutely no remorse” and still claimed he had done nothing wrong.

He said he was satisfied Robinson posed a high risk of serious harm to the public. He ordered that he would have to serve at least four years and not be released until he was no longer considered a risk to the public.

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