July 2020

North-east predator caught by hunting team after asking fake 14-year-old for nude pictures

A north-east pervert was snared by a online group after messaging what he thought was a 14-year-old girl asking for nude pictures.

Barrie Robertson contacted what he thought was a 14-year-old girl called “Sky” on social media, but who was actually a member of a paedophile-hunting group

He was snared in a sting last September by Child Protectors Scotland.

Over a period of four days, Robertson sent sexual messages to “Sky”, and even asked her to send him images of her naked.

The 37-year-old also sent her a sexual image of male genitals.

Robertson was not personally present when the case called against him at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, however defence solicitor Tony Burgess appeared representing him and entered a guilty plea to two charges on his behalf.

He admitted attempting to communicate indecently with a child, by sending a person pretending to be a 14-year-old child sexual messages and requesting sexual images of them.

And Robertson also admitted a second charge of attempting to cause a child to view a sexual image, by sending the person pretending to be a “Sky” an image of male genitals.

The offences took place between September 22 and 25 last year.

Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence on Robertson, whose address was given in court papers as Foudland Crescent in Insch, Aberdeenshire, until next week for him to be personally present in the dock.

Child Protectors Scotland posted a Facebook Live video following the offences in September, in which members of the group confronted Robertson at his address about his actions.

In a statement the group said: “Online grooming has become a world-wide issue.

“We have seen a huge rise in these sorts of online activity.

“We feel harsher sentences should be introduced for the perpetrators of online grooming both as a punishment and as a deterrent.

“The victims of these crimes are given a life sentence due to the damage done and these guys get a slap on the wrist.

“We exist as we believe the protection of Scotland’s children should be a priority but unfortunately the police do not have the resources nor the man power to continually monitor the internet to intercept these predators.”