September 2017

Convicted sex offender secretly filmed schoolgirls

A sacked and shamed school bus coordinator was jailed today after becoming “addicted” to secretly filming schoolgirls.

Robert Paterson, 45, also a former civil servant, repeatedly filmed female schoolchildren near a supermarket close to his frail mother’s home in Stenhousemuir, Stirlingshire .

He was caught after police raided the address, acting on information that Paterson, already a registered sex offender with a previous conviction for possessing and distributing child sexual abuse images, had again been downloading illegal images from the internet.

As well as a fresh stash of child sexual abuse images, they found seven videos, shot by Paterson on a mobile phone, showing kids in school uniforms coming and going near the Asda store in Hallan Road, Stenhousemuir.

They also found a camera, with 301 sneaked pictures of girls in its memory, apparently taken around the same location.

Falkirk Sheriff Court was told that “the majority of the girls were in school uniform, and were wearing short skirts and black tights”.

There were also pictures of girls wearing jeans and ordinary tops.

The court heard that the identities of the girls hadn’t been established, but in most cases detectives could tell from their dress and appearance that they went to local schools and ranged in age from five to 16.

The court also heard Paterson had moved back to his mum’s in Stenhousemuir in 2008 after he was jailed for a year and kicked out by his partner when he was unmasked as a member of an online paedophile ring and pleaded guilty to distributing indecent pictures of children.

The conviction meant Paterson was also sacked from his job organising buses for primary and secondary schools across the Falkirk Council area.

He previously worked for the Child Support Agency.

Today, Paterson pleaded guilty to downloading child sex abuse images and conducting himself in a disorderly manner by “filming schoolgirls without their knowledge or consent”.

The offences were committed between April 2015 and December 13th last year when the police raid took place.

Mike Lowrie, defending, said Paterson had become isolated and hooked on filming schoolgirls after his 2008 jailing.

Mr Lowrie said: “With regard to the schoolgirls, he did it once and became addicted to it.

“He is described in the criminal justice social work report as being of high risk of re-offending.

“Well, that might be right.

“I appreciate that a custodial disposal is likely to be at the forefront of the court’s mind.”

Sheriff John Mundy jailed Paterson for 27 months, plus an extension period of a further 27 months, during which he will be subject to conditions decided by Scottish ministers and to prison recall if he re-offends.

Sheriff Mundy said: “I’ve got to consider the protection of the public.”

He placed Paterson on the sex offenders’ register for a further 10 years.

In 2007, Paterson was caught sharing sick pictures of children as young as five years old with ten fellow online perverts.

He also discussed “grotesque” sexual fantasies over the MSN instant messenger service with another member of the ring after he was sent a picture of a nine-year-old girl.

The un-named man who sent him the picture claimed it showed his niece, with whom he had previously had sex.

Paterson showed no emotion as he was handcuffed to a security guard and led down to the cells.