Airport worker who built life in Germany jailed decades after abusing children in Wales


A man who indecently assaulted two young children in the 1970s and then spent years evading justice in Germany has finally been jailed for his crimes.

A court heard how David Roberts abused the children between in the mid-1970s in the Swansea area. He later moved to Germany where he was for a long time a security worker at Frankfurt Airport before retiring.

The 66-year-old became a German national and had three children and grandchildren. But the victims of his crimes contacted police in 2015 to report what has happened four decades ago.

It led to a European arrest warrant being applied for. It was executed earlier this year when Roberts was detained while he was in Bulgaria and transferred to the UK where he has remained in custody ever since at Parc Prison.

Roberts previously pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault of a child and six counts of indecency with a child and appeared before Swansea Crown Court via prison video link for sentencing on Tuesday.

The court heard victim impact statements, one of which was read out by the victim herself. She said: “He took an innocent life I could have had and made me a victim.”

She added how she had “lived in shame and fear of someone finding out”. She added: “I felt dirty, it was my dirty secret. I have deep agony that I can never truly reveal as it would scare me if I let it out.”

A statement from the other victim, summed up by prosecutor Robin Rouch, heard how he felt “stupid about his naivety” and “became a mess and confused about what took place”.

Mitigating, James Hartson said: “This is a man aged 66 who is being sentenced for offences committed over four decades ago.

“I know it does not remove the pain felt by the victims of the offending but in the passage of time there has been an absence of reoffending.

“The defendant is a man of clean character who has made his life and home in Germany. He has three children and grandchildren and has become a German national.

“He worked at Frankfurt Airport on security and is now supported by a pension.

“He was brought back to the UK under a European arrest warrant. I first met the defendant at Parc Prison and there was no question he would ever seek to contest matters.

“His guilty pleas mean he has accepted responsibility and has remorse for what he has done. Not many defendants accept guilt with such speed.

“The impact of the sentence is not just felt by him but felt by others as well. The family he left behind in Germany are bewildered by things. 

“They have not travelled to see him – the only communication has been by letter and short telephone communication.

“His family are shocked and disappointed by the revelations. 

“The defendant’s shame is complete as he is back in the UK and in UK prison and he knows he will remain there for some time.”

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Judge Geraint Walters sentenced Roberts, of Buttleborn, Neustrasse, Germany, to three years and eight months in prison and told him he must sign the sex offenders’ register.

He told Roberts: “Your conduct took away their innocence.”

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