July 2023

Carlisle child rapist jailed again after ‘deceiving families’

A convicted child rapist has been jailed again after breaching the terms of his release by befriending families and buying gifts for youngsters without revealing his past offending.

Robin Arnold was imprisoned in Albania in 2010 after raping a boy.

Released in 2020, he later befriended several families in Carlisle, Cumbria.

At the city’s crown court, the 71-year-old admitted breaching a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) and was jailed for 20 months.

The SHPO prohibited Arnold from living or remaining at any household in which there were children unless their parents or guardians were made aware of his sexual offending, which also includes indecent assaults dating back to 1987 and 1994.

The court heard police learned he had introduced himself to a number of African families in Carlisle offering help and his mobile number had been shared within the community.

The families included two mothers, each with three children, and a father with two youngsters.

On dates late last year and early this year Arnold delivered furniture to their homes while the children were present.

“The children were familiar with the defendant. He would bring them gifts. They would refer to him as Uncle Rob,” prosecutor Ben Stanley said.

When questioned by police, Arnold, now of Mountain View, High Hesket, near Carlisle, said he had “forgotten” about the SHPO requirement.

He admitted four breaches.

Arnold’s barrister, Kim Whittlestone, said he maintained denials in respect of his 2010 conviction which followed him reportedly become involved at a Christian missionary orphanage.

His intentions with the Carlisle families had been innocent, as part of his Christian beliefs

Judge Nicholas Barker said Arnold had “deliberately deceived” the Carlisle families and was “not a frank and remorseful person”.

He added: “You continue to seek to hide behind half-truths and lies. You perhaps deceive yourself as much as you seek to deceive others.”