March 2016

Paedophile loses fight to overturn child sex attack convictions

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A dangerous paedophile, locked up for abusing a young girl, has failed in a bid to overturn his convictions.

Robert Lucas Fairley, who had previously been jailed for a sexually-motivated street attack on a teenager, was branded a danger to the public after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

The 49-year-old, of Ash Grove, Wallsend, was handed an extended sentence of 18 years, made up of a 12-year jail term and a six-year extended licence, at Newcastle Crown Courtin September last year.

But Fairley challenged his convictions at London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Friday, with his lawyers arguing they were ‘unsafe’ because he did not receive a fair trial.

However, top judges rejected his claims and ruled the convictions should stand.

today his victim’s father has told the Chronicle of his anger.

He said: “He’s shown no accountability or responsibility for his actions. This is the second time he’s dragged his victim through a court trial, knowing full well that he’s guilty. He’s tried to work the system but he’s failed. He’s shown no remorse, and he’s still not accepting what he’s done. He’s done everything he could to get away with it even though he’s done it before.”

Fairley was convicted of indecently assaulting the girl, whose identity is protected by law, when she was aged between six and seven.

The sex attacks happened around 10 years ago but were only reported to police after the girl told her dad what had happened, in 2014.

Fairley denied the offences but was found guilty after a trial of three counts of sexually assaulting a child.

At the Court of Appeal Fairley’s lawyers argued jurors should not have been told about an attack on a teenage girl, which he was convicted of in 2011, saying it was not relevant to the case and caused overwhelming prejudice to his defence.

During the trial, jurors were told he was previously jailed for more than six years for grievous bodily harm with intent to commit a sex offence.

The court heard how he attacked a 14-year-old girl near Monkseaton Metro Station, in Whitley Bay, knocking her to the ground and punching her unconscious. When the young victim awoke she found he had pulled off her leggings. Fairley fled when he was disturbed by concerned members of the public.

His lawyers argued that, telling the jury about this earlier offence supported a ‘weak’ prosecution case.

But, dismissing his appeal, Lord Justice Lindblom said there was ‘convincing’ evidence against Fairley from his young victim.

Sitting with Mr Justice Spencer and Judge David Stockdale QC, he added: “We reject the submission that this was an instance of a relatively weak prosecution case which the prosecution was attempting to bolster by reliance on Fairley’s previous conviction.

“It seems clear that the girl gave a coherent and ultimately convincing account of the evidence on which the prosecution’s allegations were based.

“In our view it cannot be suggested that her evidence was other than a firm foundation on which the jury could properly base their findings of guilt.”

Fairley’s victim’s father said the family were relieved by the judges’ decision, which means his daughter can now continue re-building her life.

He added: “It was a big relief. For my daughter the thought of him getting away with it was awful. The worst case scenario would have been another trial. I just didn’t want my daughter put through that again. She was worried sick having to go to court.

“My daughter is fine now. She’s cracking on with things. She’s quite a resilient lass.”

September 2015

Wallsend pervert jailed for 12 years for sex attacks on six-year-old girl

Dangerous sex offender Robert Fairley has been jailed for 12 years for sickening attacks on a six-year-old girl.

Pervert Fairley has been in and out of prison for three decades for a string of sexual and violent offences.

He was jailed for more than six years in 2011 and branded a “severe danger to the public” after a violent, sexually motivated attack on a 14-year-old girl in the street in Whitley Bay.

Now Fairley, 48, of Ash Grove, Wallsend, has been convicted of indecently assaulting a girl when she was aged between six and seven.

As he was told he must serve at least two-thirds of a 12 year prison sentence, Newcastle Crown Court heard probation reports labelled him high risk.

Sentencing Fairley, Judge Penny Moreland told him: “What you did was very frightening for her as a child, both while it was happening and thereafter.

“What you did has had a long-lasting effect on her and she had the trauma of attending court to give evidence about your offending.

“The victim was particularly vulnerable because of her extreme youth and because of her personal circumstances.

“You pose a significant risk of serious harm to others.”

The sex attacks happened around 10 years ago but were only reported to police after the girl told her dad what had happened, last year.

Fairley denied the offences but was found guilty after a trial of three counts of sexually assaulting a child.

As well as the 12-year custodial sentence, he will be on an extended licence until 2033 after he is released.

Fairley must also sign the sex offender register for life, was barred from working with children or vulnerable adults and was given a sexual harm prevention order.

Ros Scott Bell, defending, said: “There is little I can say on behalf of Robert Fairley. He does not accept that he is guilty of this behaviour.”

He had been jailed for six years and three months in 2011 for a terrifying attack on a 14-year-old girl in 2010.

Fairley crept up behind the girl in a back lane just off Kensington Gardens, near Monkseaton Metro Station, in Whitley Bay, and punched her on the back of her head, knocking her to the ground.

The brute struck her with such force he knocked out her two front teeth and rained blows on her until she was unconscious.

The victim regained consciousness as Fairley was ripping off her jeans and after she screamed for help two neighbours came to her aid and Fairley fled.

Prosecutors said he was only caught because a tiny speck of his blood was found on his victim’s clothes.

He was initially charged with attempted rape, but in a plea deal with prosecutors, he admitted the lesser offence of grievous bodily harm with intent to commit a sexual offence. Fairley denied attempting to rape her.

His previous convictions also include an offence of indecent assault in 1985.

June 2011

Man jailed for sex attack

Fairley, Robert Lucas

A man has been jailed for eight years and three months for a violent sex attack on a North Tyneside teenager.

Robert Lucas Fairley, 44, of Martin Road, Howdon was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, June 6, 2011 after earlier pleading guilty to a section 18 assault with the intention of committing a sexual offence.

Fairley attacked the 14-year-old girl in the Kensington Gardens area of Monkseaton on the morning of Saturday, October 23, last year. The girl was left shocked and severely distressed by the attack and needed hospital treatment for her injuries.

Superintendent Peter Farrell, of North Tyneside Area Command, said: “This was a violent sexual attack on a young girl which was extremely distressing for her.

“Fairley clearly poses a danger to young girls and I hope this substantial sentence will bring comfort to this teenager and her family and help her to begin to put this ordeal behind her. This sentence will also offer protection to the public as a violent offender has now been removed from our society.

“Incidents of this nature also cause great concern to the wider community and I would like to reassure people that these sorts of crime are unusual in our area.”

The Northumbria Police Crime Department mounted an extensive investigation into this attack. They worked closely with local neighbourhood officers who increased foot patrols in the Whitley Bay area while enquiries were underway to both reassure and protect the community.

Supt Farrell added: “I would like to thank officers involved in the investigation whose professionalism and skill led to Fairley being arrested on November 1. I would also like to thank the community for their valuable assistance. Many people came forward in response to officers appeals for information after we released CCTV images of potential witnesses, their contribution was of great value to the investigating team.”