Febuary 2009

Man guilty of trying to buy girl, 12, for sex

A MECHANIC who tried to buy a 12-year-old girl for sex was given a three-year jail sentence and ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life yesterday.

John Robson, 36, was convicted at a retrial at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday, and given the same sentence as he had been originally given last February.

An order that banned Robson from having unsupervised contact with under-16s was removed yesterday because of a legal technicality.

Robson, of Thorpe Crescent, Horden, near Peterlee, east Durham, will be freed this summer because of the time he has already served.

He was found guilty of the 2006 offence after a trial in January last year, but the conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in November.

The retrial jury this week found Robson guilty of attempting to arrange the commission of a child sex offence.

The court heard how Robson pestered a Teesside prostitute he had used regularly for three years to find him a child, sending her text messages for three months.

The 21-year-old, who worked the red light district in Thornaby, near Stockton, said she contacted police because she was so sickened by his messages.

Robson’s legal team argued that he was merely making a factual inquiry when he asked, and that he had gone no further than preparing to commit the offence.