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Fury as paedophile who left ‘footsteps in the snow’ to child’s Wendy House spared jail

Angus footsteps snow paedophile
"Footsteps in the snow" paedophile Philip Robertson

The mother of a schoolgirl stalked by a convicted paedophile fears he could strike again after he walked out of court with a “slap on the wrist”.

Philip Robertson was snared by police after he left tell-tale footprints in the snow near the youngster’s Wendy House.

The 61-year-old, who previously served time in a Bulgarian jail for exposing himself to three nine-year-olds, repeatedly lurked around the youngster’s home in Charleston, near Glamis, and stared into her bedroom window.

Despite previously being warned he could face jail, Robertson was sentenced to a three year supervision order, and told to attend a rehabilitation programme for sex offenders.

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Philip Robertson, Charleston footsteps in the snow paedophile at Forfar Sheriff Court. DCT Media.

Following the sentencing hearing at Forfar Sheriff Court, the mother of the child – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said: “We’re just so disappointed.

“My daughter will be asking what happened at court and now I’ve got nothing positive to tell her.”

She said: “It just seems like he’s been given a slap on the wrist. The case has been dragging on for a long time now, and was put off again and again by the court and at the end of the day, it just feels like justice hasn’t been served.”

She said: “I know he’s moved away from the area but I’ve been told he’s being odd jobs for people.

“Just the thought of him going into people’s homes, and they don’t know who he is.

“I worry that he could pop up again. I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear from him.”

Poster campaign to remove paedophile

Robertson’s presence in the village had alarmed locals, who mounted a poster campaign to boot him out.

Flyers with his photo appeared on bus stops and sign posts, warning: “Convicted paedophile Philip Robertson not welcome in Charleston Village.”

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Charleston village. Google Maps Date.

Robertson, who also previously lived in Aberdeen but has now moved to Park Road, Brechin, admitted a single charge of stalking the schoolgirl in the village between October 1, 2019, and January 29, last year.

He pleaded guilty to causing the girl and her father fear and alarm by repeatedly being outside their home, entering their garden and loitering there.

He also repeatedly approached the girl and attempted to engage her in conversation.

Sheriff Gillian Martin-Brown told him the the supervision order was a direct alternative to a custodial sentence.

Peered in bedroom windows

Depute fiscal Sarah Wilkinson said that Robertson first appeared outside the family’s house in October 2019.

Their father was in the kitchen when he saw Robertson walking along the driveway, she said.

When he realised he was being watched, Robertson turned on his heels and walked away.

On another occasion, before 9am on January 23, Robertson was spotted walking around the side of the house and peering into the window of the girl’s bedroom.

A few days later, at around the same time of day, the family was getting ready for school.

Ms Wilkinson said the girl’s father spotted footprints in the snow. “They led to the Wendy House, from where he would have been able to observe the child’s bedroom.”

Welcomed to community

Police took moulds of the footprints, which proved a match for Robertson.

Residents welcomed Robertson into the community before they became away of his sinister past.

He was given mince pies to hand out to children at a Christmas party in the village hall and he attended a Hogmanay event.

One local said: “This is such a beautiful, tranquil spot. Everyone was just horrified to find out someone like that was living here.”

Robertson served time in a Bulgarian prison after being convicted of groping and kissing children aged 10 and 12 at the Sunny Beach resort in 2017.

He was made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and monitored by the authorities.

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