October 2021

Cowardly paedophile refused to look his victims in the eye

A cowardly paedophile who “did not have the courage” to face a sentencing or look his victims in the eyes has been sentenced to nine years.

HIs victims, who have all been left psychologically scarred by Robert Burns’ sexual abuse, bravely attended court for the hearing but the Judge Stuart Driver, QC told them: “He has not had the courage to come into court to face the truth and face his victims so he will be sentenced in his absence.”

Burns, 61, had been brought to Liverpool Crown Court from prison but refused to come into the courtroom from the cells.

The court heard that he has previous convictions including indecent assault in 1990, sexual assault in March 2017 and failing to comply with Sexual Register notification requirements.

Judge Driver ruled him to be a dangerous offender and he imposed an extended five year licence.

He said: “He has now been convicted of 15 sexual offences and six offences of breaching the notification requirements.”

The judge pointed out that a pre-sentence report spoke of his “grooming and predatory behaviour and concludes he poses a high risk of serious harm to children and the public.

Judge Driver said: “I agree. He has shown no remorse, he has shown no insight into his behaviour.”

Burns, of Fishguard Close, Everton, had been convicted after a trial of 12 offences of indecent assault on five boys ranging in age from six to 15 years.

After imposing the sentences the judge turned to the victims in the public gallery and told them: “All that remains is for me to praise the five men who are victims in this case for their courage in coming forward and for the dignity they have shown throughout the case.”

During his trial Martine Snowdon, prosecuting, told how Burns gave some of his victims alcohol before abusing them, showered them with money and gifts and showed one of them pornography.

He was found guilty of repeatedly abusing four of the boys and one offence on the other child when he was aged between 13 and 15.

Miss Snowdon said the offences had a significant effect on all five victims, who are now adults, and two of them in particular.

Burns was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life and the judge also imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.