February 2017: Robst has now been released and has been spotted in Bradford

January 2009

Internet pervert jailed for having sex with young girls

A predatory internet paedophile who targeted up to a thousand young girls has been locked up indefinitely.

Church-going Philip Robst groomed immature and vulnerable teenagers, meeting two of them, aged 13 and 15, to have sex.

A judge described him as an “inherently decent and respectable young man with a wholly dark side”.

Robst, 27, of Sleningford Grove, Saltaire, travelled to Grimsby and Andover to satisfy his desire for under age girls, a court heard.

He had unprotected sex with the 13-year-old virgin after parking his car outside a cemetery, prosecutor Judith Naylor said.

Robst went to Hampshire to meet another girl he had groomed in an MSN chatroom, the court heard, and had sex with her in his tent.

Robst, a computer expert who worked as an IT specialist, then hacked into her computer to read her e-mails.

He was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty in December to four offences of sexual activity with a child, three of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, two of sexual activity in the presence of a child and one of attempting to have sexual activity with a child.

All the offences took place between February 2005 and February 2006.

Mrs Naylor said Robst was arrested in February 2006 and interviewed by Lancashire Police after a girl of 15 complained that he had sexually touched her.

Robst admitted the offence and confessed to more contact with young girls. He told officers he had sent photos of himself committing a sex act to them.

Lancashire Police did nothing about these admissions and let Robst off with a caution. But in October, 2007, West Yorkshire Police consulted the Crown Prosecution Service after reading a file from Lancashire. Robst’s computer was seized and he later told police he had made contact with up to 1,000 young girls on the internet, some as young as 12.

One 14-year-old said he used the MSN Messenger name Snoopy and made repeated requests for her to undress in front of awebcam.

Judge Jonathan Rose said Robst posed a high risk to young girls. He sentenced him to Imprisonment for Public Protection and said he must serve two years before he is even considered for parole.

The judge branded Robst a “persistent predatory paedophile”.

After the case, Detective Sergeant Adrian Watkins, of the Child and Public Protection Unit, urged parents to keep a close check on their children using the internet.

He said: “Be aware and monitor what your children are doing on the internet, who they are talking to and what they are talking about?Parents need to be involved in this process.

“To those who are contemplating using the internet as a means of abusing children – we have the means and the technology to track you down and bring you to justice.”