Former ice cream man guilty of raping young boys

Robert Gill was convicted of 12 offences including the rape of two young boys yesterday. Picture: Vic Rodrick
Robert Gill was convicted of 12 offences including the rape of two young boys yesterday. Picture: Vic Rodrick

A predatory paedophile who offered young boys free ice creams to do ‘moonies’ for him in the 1990s progressed to raping teenage youths after getting them stoned on cannabis, a court heard.

Robert Gill (41), from Bo’ness, had denied a catalogue of child sex abuse charges spanning over two decades, including the rape of two boys, who were just 13 and 14 at the time.

Robert Gill subjected six young boys to horrific sexual abuse over two decades. Picture: Vic Rodrick

Robert Gill subjected six young boys to horrific sexual abuse over two decades. Picture: Vic Rodrick

During his nine-day trial at the High Court in Livingston, his victims – some of them now in their thirties – were forced to relive the horrific abuse he subjected them to. On Wednesday he was convicted of his sick crimes by a jury who took less than two hours to reach their verdict.

The former ice cream salesman – who ran a Robbie’s Ices van in Edinburgh – earlier admitted producing and supplying cannabis and taking an indecent photograph of a 14-year-old autistic boy and posting it on Facebook.

During the trial the jury heard that Gill preyed on teenage boys in the west of Edinburgh between 1993 and 1996 before embarking on a second campaign of sexual depravity in Bo’ness between August 2010 and February last year.

When he moved to Bo’ness he grew cannabis and invited youngsters to his house with the promise of free joints. If they submitted to his perverted desires he would reward them with free drugs and cigarettes and even bought a motorbike for them to use at weekends.

One of Gill’s victims said he threatened to kill him if he told anyone.

Judge Lord Glennie ordered that Gill’s name be added to the Sex Offenders’ Register and remanded him in custody for reports until sentence on March 9.

Detective Sergeant Jon Pleasance of Edinburgh’s Public Protection Unit said: “Gill preyed on a number of boys who he plied with drugs and coerced in order to carry out horrific sexual assaults. I want to pay tribute to the victims who have shown absolute courage throughout the investigation and trial.”