Pervert Priest Enjoyed Picking out His Victims

Walsall Advertiser
October 28, 2010

THE pervert former priest who sexually abused boys for nearly 25 years enjoyed choosing his vulnerable victims, said the judge who jailed him.

Richard James Robinson, who was known as Father Jim, was found guilty on 21 counts of abusing children he met while working in churches across the West Midlands between 1959 and 1983.

The prosecution's case focused on the abuse of six boys, although the offences on which Robinson was tried pertained to only four of them. Among his victims were Walsall residents.

Birmingham Crown Court had heard written accounts of the abuse they suffered as children at the hands of Robinson, who since '83 had been in living America until his extradition last year.

Last Friday (October 22), Judge Patrick Thomas QC jailed Robinson, aged 73, to 21 years in prison.

He told partially-deaf Robinson, who wore a grey tracksuit: "The jury has convicted you on overwhelming evidence of the gravest set of offences of sexual abuse of children over a prolonged period that I have professionally ever encountered.

"The offences you committed were unimaginably wicked and caused intense and long-lasting, we can only hope not permanent, damage to the six victims.

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"You used and abused your position of authority and the total trust of the communities which you moved to and from.

"You used, you abused your considerable charisma which we in this court saw flickers of."

The judge, who had praised the bravery of victims, added: "You enjoyed selecting your victims, choosing vulnerable children, and I think you enjoyed doing it and grooming them into accepting what you did to them.

"You were, and are, sufficiently devious, manipulative and bold to have got away with heavily risky sexual encounters over a period of 25 years and you were stimulated by the sense of danger. Without question you have carried out these offences in the most persistent and outrageous way that is possible to conceive."

He also told Robinson: "You stopped offending because you were of ill-health, not of remorse or regret."

The court had heard from one victim: "When he bought me gifts I thought he was looking after me but it was all part of the confusion.

"I felt like I had allowed it to happen. I never wanted the dirty secret to come out."

Rachel Brand, defending, said of Robinson: "During his priestly career, there plainly was another side to this man's character a positive side.

"He was a man of good character when he chose to exercise it."

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