August 2022

Former Lib Dem chair of Harlow Council pleads guilty to downloading images of child abuse

A former chair of Harlow Council has pleaded guilty to a number of charges including downloading images of child abuse.

Christopher Robins, aged 64, of Little Brays, Harlow pled at Chelmsford magistrates court to:

  • Making indecent images of children

  • Being a person aged 18 or over, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, intentionally attempted to communicate with a person under 16 who you did not reasonably believe to be 16 or over, the communication being sexual, namely talking about sexual acts.

The court was told that Robins had contacted the online profile of a young girl. He sent highly sexualised chat with the clear intent of engaging the child into sexual activity. 

He used a fake photograph of himself to pretend he had a athletic figure of a young man. And he also sent images of penis to the girl.

However, the girl not exist and was instead a decoy.

In March, 2022, Robins was confronted by a paedophile hunting team and questioned over his internet activityThe police were called and he was arrested. It was during the police investigation, that indecent images of children was found on his computer

The teams involved were ‘Elite’ and ‘Cobra Hunters’

Robins was committed to prison for six-and-a-half-months but this was suspended for 18 months.

There was a number of detailed restrictions on his use of computers.

He has been made subject to a rehabilitation activity requirement. Must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and sign the sex offenders register. He was fined £400.00

Robins was a Lib Dem councillor for a number of wards (Brays Grove, Mark Hall South and Staple Tye) between 2000 and 2006.

He was chair of Harlow Council for twelve days in 2003.

He was most recently a candidate in 2019.

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said that his membership had been terminated.