November 2015

Pervert beekeeper (47) groomed schoolgirl, 14 for sex – Jailed

Rob-Higham

A beekeeper who used his secluded hives to help conceal his five-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl has been jailed.

Robert Higham of Rhinturk, Lower Cabrach, near Huntly, admitted two charges of engaging in sexual behaviour with a child when he appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court last month on October 8.

The 47-year-old took the girl to tend to his bees in Alves and touched her indecently on various occasions in the car. He also sent an explicit picture of himself to her.

The offences happened between March 1 and August 31, 2013.

Higham’s wife and mother to his four children became suspicious of the relationship after noticing the girl was spending a lot more time with him.

Her initial unease was cemented by admissions the teenager made to friends at school.

The police were contacted after Mrs Higham confronted the pair.

He later admitted what had happened between him and the girl to officers.

Higham accepted that they had kissed and cuddled on occasions.

He said things escalated further during one instance in Alves, when he sexually violated her.

Defence agent David Adams told the court his client was “extremely anxious” about the case.

He said: “He has had to accept there was only one adult and one child in this situation, and that was him, and he has to take responsibility.”

The former IT consultant lost his job last month due to not reporting the charges he faced to his company.

Mr Adams added: “Mr Higham is seeking employment to support his family. They have been talking about making plans so far as him being unemployed and facing a custodial sentence.

“It seems somewhat surprising, but the relationship between him and his wife seems to have survived and the partner’s knowledge of this matter was one of the reasons it came about.”

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov sentenced Higham to 204 days in jail.

He will also be on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Sheriff Pasportnikov told him: “Despite your years, you were in an adult relationship with the victim here.

“She was a 14-year-old child, and you were a 45-year-old man.

“She had a schoolgirl crush on you and you took advantage of that.

“How you thought it was appropriate to confide in a 14-year-old about your own relationship with your partner is inexplicable.

“Also, that you tried to seek solace in her.

“One dreads to think what would have happened if you had not been exposed when you were.

“You shared several social engagements and events with the victim’s parents, who clearly trusted you around their children, and you abused that trust.”

October 2015

47-year-old Pervert preyed on 14-year-old girl whilst tending to bees

A north-east beekeeper who groomed a 14-year-old girl over a five-month period used his hobby to prey on her.

Robert Higham admitted two charges of engaging in sexual behaviour with a child when he appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday.

The court heard the 47-year-old took the girl with him to tend to his bees in Alves, and touched her indecently on various occasions in the car.

Higham, of Rhinturk, Lower Cabrach, Huntly, also sent repeated private messages to the girl via Facebook.

As the contact escalated, he also sent her a graphic indecent image of himself.

The offences happened between March 1 and August 31, 2013.

Fiscal depute Kevin Corrins told the court: “It was noted by the accused’s partner that the girl was spending a lot more time with him.

Suspicion around Higham’s behaviour arose after the girl began to tell her friends.

The police were contacted after Higham’s wife confronted the pair. He later admitted what had happened between him and the girl to officers.

Defence agent David Adams told the court his client “accepted” he would be added to the sex offenders register.

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov deferred sentence on Higham until November 19 for background reports.