July 2022

Paedophile rants in court after raping girl while mum was in hospital

A paedophile delivered a furious tirade as he was jailed for 13 years for raping a child.

Edwards Roberts abused the 11-year-old girl as she slept while her mum was in hospital and cut off her ponytail as a “punishment”.

The 81-year-old also sexually assaulted a second victim as the teenager used a sunbed.

For decades, the pensioner had masqueraded as an upstanding citizen who had spent his working life “serving the city of Liverpool”. Today, Friday, he was finally brought to justice for his sickening historic crimes.

But, before he was led down to the cells, Roberts ranted in the dock about how his victims had lied in court and pledged to campaign to clear his name. He told Liverpool Crown Court: “Before I go, I’m going to say I committed none of these offences. There have been absolute lies and distortion in the court.

“I did not ever commit these horrendous offences, absolutely not. They are absolute lies.

“I’m an innocent man and I will campaign for my innocence. They have lied through their teeth.

“I did not do these things.”

Roberts was then interrupted by his defence counsel. A supporter in the public gallery added: “We’re going to fight this.”

In a statement which was read out to the court, the rape victim described how she suffered from “daily feelings of fear and loneliness”. She added: “What he did to me will always be with me.

“As an adult I’ve always tried to blank it out, but it’s always there. I feel these feelings every day.

“They’ve literally come back to haunt me. I hide behind my past trauma by smiling and joking – I’ve built a wall around me.

“All these feelings I’ve buried, I am now thinking about daily. I assume he is living his life happily, but I’m still suffering.

“I carry the scars of what he did to me.”

The second victim’s statement described how she felt “bewildered and ashamed”, adding: “Your actions that day caused me to keep a secret for over 40 years. From that day, I was always guarded.

“Throughout the years, I learned to lock it all away in my mind.”

Roberts was convicted of rape, three counts of sexual assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial.

The retiree, of Colin Street in Wigan, has one previous conviction for assault.

Sentencing, Judge Anil Murray described Roberts as having “exhibited violence and bullying behaviour”. He added: “Clearly, the offending in this case is so very serious that only immediate and substantial period of imprisonment can follow.

“It’s not overstating matters to say that what you did to her ruined her life. “I accept that this will be your first time in custody and it will be very difficult for you.

“I do take into account your advanced age and failing health, but I can’t overlook the damage you have done. It’s clear you were presenting a different face to the public.”

Greater Manchester Police was unable to provide a custody picture of Roberts, who was also told to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.