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Man jailed for trying to kidnap schoolgirls in Scarborough

Michael Anthony Robertshaw
Michael Anthony Robertshaw

A predatory paedophile has been jailed for life after trying to kidnap three schoolgirls by posing as a street warden and law-enforcement officer.

Michael Anthony Robertshaw, 41, a convicted rapist who has spent 18 of the past 22 years in prison for attacking lone females, tried to lure the girls into his car in Scarborough.

The “manipulative” predator stopped one of the girls in the street at 6.30am, a jury at York Crown Court heard.

The married father-of-two falsely accused her of throwing a brick at his windscreen and swore at her, shouting at her to get in his car, said prosecutor Andrew Espley. He asked her what school she went to, if she was a good student and how old she was. She says she told him because he seemed so angry.

The girl walked off but Robertshaw followed her in his car and continued to ask her to get in. She took down his car registration and told her mother. Police were told in September 2017 and Robertshaw was given a warning.

But in January, he stopped a girl for dropping a cigarette near the town centre at 5.30am. He told her he worked for ‘Teen Smoking and Drinking’. Mr Espley said Robertshaw was trying to make the girl think she was in trouble so “she would do as he wants”.

Robertshaw, who had a dashcam in his car, told her to come look at the footage of her dropping the cigarette.

The girl continued to refuse but was eventually “beguiled” into getting in the car but left the door open and kept one foot on the pavement.

Robertshaw turned the interior light off and (about the cigarette) asked her: “What do you think I should do about this?” She said, ‘Could you just leave it? I’m a nice girl’,” added Mr Espley.

The girl got a phone call from a friend and she told her she was in a car with a man who had stopped her. Robertshaw “panicked” and told her to go.

She walked to her friend’s and told her mother. Police were informed, but the next day Robertshaw preyed on a girl who was walking home from school.

Robertshaw made a comment about the colour of her skirt and asked her which school she went to. He told her he was a street marshal who “stopped kids getting into trouble”. He said “I need you to get in my car” and offered to give her a lift home, but she refused.

All three girls gave similar descriptions of a man who had a ‘Baby on Board’ sticker on his car, but he claimed they had made up the allegations.

Robertshaw, who worked as a delivery driver, later handed himself in at Scarborough Police Station but gave a fake account of their encounters. He was charged with but denied three counts of attempted kidnap and three counts of committing an offence with intent to carry out a sex attack.

The jury found him guilty of all six counts two weeks ago, but a judge ordered reports to be postponed because he faced a second trial.

He appeared in court on Monday July 30 and admitted two counts of possessing a firearm when prohibited from doing so.

The court heard that when police went to Robertshaw’s flat after his recall to prison they found a handgun and Artemis air rifle with bipod and bayonet.

Robertshaw had been banned from keeping firearms because of his past convictions including two rapes and two sex assaults.

Defence barrister Dr John Brown said Robertshaw had been getting help in prison for “anger issues”.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said Robertshaw was a danger to women and young girls. Mr Stubbs said: “You are a skillful sexual predator, targeting and manipulating lone females in isolated situations.”

Jailing Robertshaw for life, Mr Stubbs said he must serve a minimum of seven years before he could be considered for parole.

Detective Constable Steve Monty said: “Robertshaw tried to present himself as a figure of trust and authority in an attempt to kidnap young girls.

“In fact, he was anything but trustworthy – he’s a devious, manipulative predator with a sexual interest in children.”