Feb 2005

9 months jail for sick child pervert

AMMANFORD child porn pervert Robert Staines wrote about children being murdered, a court heard this week.

He downloaded 11,184 indecent images of children – but will only serve nine months in jail, despite worries about the risk he poses in the future.

Meanwhile, his neighbours knew nothing about his sick shadowy nightlife – until he told one of them, it was revealed this week.

His neighbours are in a state of shock because he is due to be released from prison before the end of the year.

They told the press: “We do not want him back in our village.”

Swansea crown court heard that Staines, who lived just doors away from a primary school, was fixated with sexual images of young children.

Police found that Staines, aged 59, of Pantyblodau Road, Blaenau, had not only downloaded 11,184 indecent images of children onto his computer but had written stories of children being humiliated, tortured and even murdered.

Staines, was jailed for 18 months after he admitted 20 offences of making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

The charges were samples and the court was invited to sentence on the “whole picture” involving 11, 184 images.

He will serve only half the sentence in custody, while for the remainder he will be free but under threat if he re-offends. This applies to all sentences under four years.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, said police were alerted after a woman visiting his home was shown one of the images.

Police arrested him on May 19 and took away his computer for examination.

Tests showed he had been surfing child porn sites.

During questioning Staines maintained that, as far as he was concerned, the images were not indecent.

But Judge Michael Burr described them as “appalling material involving the exploitation and degradation of boys and girls”.

When asked about the stories of child abuse and cruelty, he admitted downloading some material and writing other stories himself.

Mr Thomas pointed out to Judge Burr that Staines lived closed to a park and a school.

Staines’s barrister, Huw Davies, told the court, “He now realises his actions were wrong and he has expressed some remorse to me about the downloading of these images.”

The barrister emphasised there had “never been any element of financial gain” in the collection of the images. Nor had Staines been involved in distributing them. Judge Burr said although Staines may not have been in it for the money the offences supported a “continuing market for the process of exploitation and degradation of children”.

The judge considered a report by a probation officer into Staines’ background. The report, which was not read out in court, contained an assessment as to future risk of offending.

Judge Burr said he was “concerned” about a comment in the report that Staines might pose a “continuing risk” on his release from jail.

In addition to the jail sentence Staines was ordered to register with the police as a sex offender and banned from associating with children under 16 and owning or using a computer or accessing the internet.

These orders are to run indefinitely.

ROBERT William Staines was a quiet yet arrogant man, who stayed up all night on his computer, say neighbours.

Pantyblodau residents told the Guardian last week they were shocked he was allowed to remain so close to a school, children’s home and park, while awaiting his sentence.

As the news filtered through to the close-knit community that he will be sent to prison for nine months, thoughts turned to what would happen when he was released.

Neighbour Yvette McKenzie told the press: “I was really shocked to hear what he had done and I don’t think anyone realised how serious it was.

“I have only spoken to him once or twice and he seemed very arrogant. We just want him out of the village.”

Father-of-three Jonathan Thomas believes his sentence isn’t long enough.

“I’ve only seen him once or twice since he’s lived here and no-one seems to know him very well,” he said.

“Since the news about him has come out, I’ve seen a lot more parents waiting outside the school for their children.”

Neighbour Paula Casey added: “It sickens you to know that you live down the road from someone like that.

“He would sleep during the day and stay up all night on his computer.

“When he was on bail we saw him sat in front of his computer by the window with the curtains open, almost like he was saying – ‘so what’? He showed no remorse.”

Her husband Derek added: “We were shocked to hear the stories he wrote were about torture, humiliation and death.

“I’m happy that he’s been sent away and I think that the judge did the best he could.

“But we don’t believe that he’ll come out with a different mentality.”

Mother-of-two and neighbour Llywela Liiv added: “The majority of people in the village are very concerned and his time in prison will go fast.

“It’s going to be a problem wherever he goes. Nobody wants it on their doorstep.”

A PANTYBLODAU resident who spoke to the us about his fears of living near Robert William Staines has received a letter from the paedophile’s solicitor suggesting he may have broken the law.

Rees Davies and Partners of Swansea suggested in a letter to Derek Casey that he may be committing a criminal offence if his “proposals” set out in last week’s paper  were true.

Mr Casey had told the press: “The children don’t seem to be playing out on the streets any more”

The solicitors also said that as a “potential witness” he should not have any contact with Staines directly or through third parties.

The letter, dated January 26, was sent 19 days after Staines had been convicted.

Mr Casey said: “I couldn’t believe it when I received the letter and read it through, as there’s so many mistakes.

“It also said that through handing Staines’ wife a copy of the Guardian it could be seen as harassment.

“All I did was knock on her door and hand her a copy of the Guardian. She said thank-you very much.

“I just wanted him to know the view of the village,” he added.

“I rang the police to check if I had done anything wrong and they said I haven’t.”