May 2016

Dangerous sex offender who threatened victims with fire bomb jailed for 28 years

singleton

A DANGEROUS sex offender from South Devon has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for abusing three girls and then threatening to petrol bomb a victim’s home to ensure her silence.

Robert Singleton, 34, from Starcross, started his serial abusing in the 1990s while still at school when he sexually assaulted three young victims.

The former taxi driver then abused a fourth girl over a number of years.

Police also found sickening child abuse images on his mobile phone.

He was due to be tried in February but before that date police were contacted by the youngest complainant who said she was receiving unwanted messages on Facebook.

Robert Singleton used three social media accounts which he set up under false names to send messages to the terrified witness warning her not to come to court.

She did not know who they were coming from but they contained clear warnings about going to court and giving evidence.

Other messages threatened to firebomb her home.

Singleton was found guilty at a trial at Exeter Crown Court last week of:

  • Witness intimidation

  • Rape

  • Four counts of assault by penetration

  • Sexual assault

  • Four indecent assaults

  • Making indecent images of children.

Judge Simon Carr at Truro Crown Court has now sentenced him to 22 years in prison with a further six years on licence.

April 2016

Child abuser who made threats warned of long sentence

A child abuser who frighten his victim into silence by threatening to firebomb her home has been warned he faces a long jail sentence.

Robert Singleton used three social media accounts which he set up under false names to send messages to the terrified witness warning her not to come to court.

The former taxi driver groomed the girl and his sexual abuse had moved on to rape before she found the courage to reveal what he was doing.

He had previously abused three other girls while he was still at school and police also found sickening child abuse images on his mobile phone.

He was found guilty of intimidation and a catalogue of abuse after police traced the messages to a house which he was sharing with his partner in Starcross.

Singleton, aged 34, of Bishops Close, Starcross, denied witness intimidation, rape, four counts of assault by penetration, sexual assault, four indecent assaults, and making indecent images of children.

He was found guilty of all counts at Exeter Crown Court and remanded in custody by Judge Simon Carr, who will sentence him at Truro Crown Court next Friday.

He told him:”You are going to receive a sentence of a very considerable length.

During a week long trial the jury hears that the allegations started in the 1990s when Singleton sexually assaulted three girls when he was still at school.

The remaining allegations involved a girl who he abused.

He ensured her silence by telling her she would be disowned by her family if she told anyone what he was doing.

She only told her mother after police began investigating the other historic allegations from the 1990s.

Police found eight images of young girls on his phone when they arrested him and later traced threatening messages back to his girlfriend’s address.

The case was originally listed to be heard in early February but in January the youngest victim received a string of threats via Facebook.

One said ‘watch your back, you whore. You deserve what is coming to you. This is not a threat it is a promise.’

The next said if she went to court ‘your mum and dad and you will be killed. Petrol bomb through the front window of …’. The message gave her full address.

The final message backed up the threats. The police established all came from Singleton.

He denied all the allegations and said he had been out fishing on his boat when the threats were sent. He said someone else must have used his phone to download the images.