WALKS FREE |
Gardai seize computer after judge frees creep who sent photos of his penis to 11-year-old
Self-described ‘pervert’ Adrian Robinson (48) was confronted by members of a ‘paedophile hunter group’
Yesterday at 21:16
Gardai have seized computer equipment from the home of a 48-year-old man who walked free from court after he confessed to grooming a ‘decoy’ 11-year-old girl online and sending her images of his penis.
Video now in the possession of the PSNI shows self-described ‘pervert’ Adrian Robinson being confronted by members of a ‘paedophile hunter group’ in Northern Ireland on January 19 at Enniskillen bus station.
Robinson, from Avondale Court, Ballina, Co. Mayo, was confronted by members of the group after they were passed transcripts of conversations and images he had sent to a member of a UK group who had been posing online as an 11-year-old girl.
Video seen by the Sunday Worldalso shows how, after making a number of admissions to the group, Robinson was taken into custody by PSNI officers.
Robinson, who told his landlady he was travelling to Northern Ireland to attend a cookery course, appeared before Dungannon Magistrates Court last week where the court heard he had made further admissions while in police custody.
However, Judge Michael Ranaghan refused to allow charges against Robinson to proceed and released him from police custody after describing the case presented to him in court as a “muddle”.
Robinson was accused of attempting to sexually communicate with a female child for his own gratification on January 19 and attempting to meet her with the intention to commit a sexual offence, after a period of grooming.
A police officer told the court he believed the charges could be connected; however, a defence solicitor challenged this on the basis the offences allegedly occurred outside the jurisdiction in the Republic of Ireland.
The court heard Robinson was arrested “following a confrontation with a group of individuals who were involved in encouraging his attendance at a meeting point in Enniskillen bus station having travelled from his Co. Mayo home. This was on the pretext of meeting an adult female.”
The paedophile hunter group videoed the confrontation, during which Robinson fully admitted engaging online in an attempt to arrange sexual contact with an 11-year-old child.
Police believe the meeting with the adult female was, “part of the grooming aspect”.
The defence argued any alleged offending occurred in his client’s home through decoys, and no child was involved.
He said: “The role of the adult female was to lure my client into Northern Ireland and there is no connection between her and the fake child. Effectively, it was only through being encouraged to travel to Enniskillen that matters entered this (court) jurisdiction.”
The paedophile hunter group is based in England and communication allegedly took place for a planned meeting with a child in March.
When District Judge Michael Ranaghan enquired who Robinson believed he was communicating with, the police officer replied: “He was interacting with the false profile of an 11-year-old girl set up by the group in England who passed the information to the Northern Ireland branch. The confrontation was live-streamed on Facebook.
“The defendant admitted trying to meet a child and being involved in that sort of behaviour.
“Admissions were made on camera and again in police custody.
“He admitted using Facebook Messenger and the communications were sexual in nature.
“There were many references to meeting and staying in a hotel for the purpose of sex.”
The officer said some communications to the decoy child contained images in which Robinson’s genitals are visible.
Judge Ranaghan asked if police sought pre-charge advice from the PPS, to which the officer replied, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Branding the situation a “muddle” the judge said: “The admissibility of the paedophile hunters’ footage would be very much in question.
“I accept the defendant travelled to Northern Ireland but we don’t have the basis on which he did.
“I don’t know what the connection is between the female and the alleged grooming of a child.
“There are admissions at interview but that relates to a meeting in England in March.”
After consideration he said: “It’s a confused picture to say the least. These are very serious charges and it’s up to police to convince me they can be connected, but I am concerned that I cannot do so.
“Travelling to Enniskillen does appear to be a significant event but that was to meet an adult and I don’t know where she falls into the picture.”
Throwing out the charges, he concluded: “The defendant shouldn’t believe this is the end of the matter but for now as far as I’m concerned, he is free to leave police custody.”
Neighbours in Avondale Court in Ballina, an estate in which a large number of families with young children reside, said Robinson hadn’t returned to his former address since the group live-streamed the video of the confrontation on Facebook.
“He hasn’t been back here and he won’t come back because he knows he’d be battered if he did,” one neighbour said.
“He was a lodger in the house.
“The woman who lives there is in shock over the whole thing.
“The Gardaí arrived the night after the video was posted and took away his computer.
“We just hope the Guards do a better job on it down here then the authorities did up the North.”