March 1998

Child rape bid man, 70, jailed for 7 years

AN ELDERLY paedophile who befriended a seven year old boy and then tried to rape him at his flat has been jailed for seven years by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court.

Judge Robert Orme told Robert Johnson: “You are 70 years of age but you have a quite appalling record in respect of committing offences on young boys.”

Johnson, of Warrens End, Kings Norton, was found guilty of an offence of attempted rape following a trial at the crown court in December.

The judge said Johnson’s offending went back to 1952 and since that time he had appeared before the courts on seven occasions for sex offences involving children.

He went on: “You befriended youngsters during the summer of last year and you invited them to sleep at your flat.

“Goodness knows what their parents were thinking, though perhaps they were taken in by you.”

The judge said Johnson had taken the opportunity to try to rape the seven-year-old who then had the ordeal of having to give evidence in court.

“It is another sad fact of this case that despite that finding of guilt you have continued to deny your involvement in this matter,” he said.

Judge Orme said according to a probation officer’s report, Johnson was a paedophile who saw no harm in what he did and who presented a considerable risk to children.

He said he took into account the defendant’s poor health and the fact that he had now lost his home, but said: “It is your continuing power to corrupt young children I have to guard against.”