February 17 2010
Thai Police acting on information from Serious Organised Crime officers based in Bangkok arrested Roderick William Robinson,73, at a terraced house in the resort of Pattaya, 100 miles east of Bangkok.
SOCA were carrying out the enquiry on behalf of CEOP – their Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit, which has been clearing a list of Britain’s wanted sex offenders.
Robinson from Aldershot, Hants, fled to Australia in 1988 while awaiting trial for repeatedly abusing an under-aged girl.
He escaped to Portugal but Interpol police caught up with him there and he was sent back to Australia. While on bail again he obtained a forged passport and fled to Thailand.
Sources at CEOP say that he has no longer has any known address in Britain and on arrival at Heathrow would be met by officers of the Metropolitan Police and put immediately on the Sex Offenders Register.
This was a somewhat unorthodox arrest but quite clearly CEOP considered this was not a man to be left hanging around Pattaya. The CEOP Press office in London confused me and other newspapers last night by saying they did not have the details of what his offences were in England and where.
This seems to indicate that 23 years on there is no case to proceed with in the UK and indeed it may be difficult to find the witnesses now. At one stage CEOP suggested I get in touch with either ‘ICE’ or the Australian Federal Police.
In fact his most recent offences seem to have been committed in either Australia and/or New Zealand. So why not send him there? There may be a problem too. At any rate the relevant authorities have decided to hand him over to the ‘Yard’ to be put on the Child Sex Abuse register in Britain.
Technically I suppose Robinson could fight extradition but the Thai authorities are basically saying that with child sex abusers this is not an option. He is PNG. That seems a good move as Robinson’s history shows he seems to bog off at will.
Robinson’s arrest is part of CEOPs campaign to child abusers to tell them ‘You are not safe anywhere anymore’
What appears to be happening is that CEOP have been running through old case files which various provincial forces in the U.K. have left dormant or unactivated. They have had many recent successes in Thailand and I believe Robinson is one of the last two on their list.
When Robinson arrives in Britain, however, he will fly into a storm of controversy over Britain’s register of child sex abusers. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that those on the list can appeal to be taken off. Prime Minister David Cameron says he is appalled.
‘It places the rights of sex offenders above the public right to be protected from the risk of re-offending’.
Pictures: Boonleua/Andrew Chant
Additional reporting: Boonleua Chatree