Former Forfar history teacher Robert Lightband jailed

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A teacher who posed as a lawyer in a bid to send twisted child abuse fantasy letters to a jailed paedophile he had met behind bars has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Robert Lightband was previously a respected history teacher at Dundee’s Menzieshill High School and taught at Forfar Academy in the 1970s.

But today he was starting a lengthy jail term after attempting to defraud prison guards at HMP Perth into passing a 14 page document containing “graphic and distressing” descriptions of the abuse of children to convicted paedophile Jason Jordan.

Serial sex offender Jordan was last year put on a lifelong restriction order and ordered to spend at least four years in jail after being caught in possession of child porn.

Lightband - who was jailed last year for his second child porn downloading offence - wrote “legal correspondence” on the front of his letter, which purported to come from an Edinburgh law firm called Goodwin Moir, because letters between solicitors and their clients are not usually opened by jail staff for confidentiality.

But prison guards were suspicious because the “legal correspondence” line was hand written and the letter was not franked as legal letters usually are.

An investigation revealed there was no such firm as Goodwin Moir so the letter was opened.

Inside they found a two page letter purporting to be from “Robert Lightband solicitor”.

More disturbingly, a 12 page document was attached in which Lightband spelled out depraved fantasies to Jordan, who the court heard he had “acquainted” in Perth Prison’s sex offender unit.

Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that Lightband had been released from jail in May last year, and confessed he had immediately began downloading child porn once released.

She said: “The letter purported to be legal correspondence from Goodwin Moir.

“In general prison staff don’t open legal mail.

“Staff checked the Law Society website and there was no firm of Goodwin Moir listed.

“They opened the letter and it contained references to sexual abuse of children.

“It also referred to a solicitor called Robert Lightband.

“The letter is two typed pages and enclosed a 12 page document containing graphic and distressing descriptions of the abuse of children.

“The addressee is on a lifelong restriction order and it is suspected they met while spending time together in prison.

“The accused’s laptop was seized under the terms of his sexual offences prevention order.

“When he was detained he said ‘there will be stuff you don’t like on the computer’.

“He freely admitted downloading indecent images since May 16, when he was released from prison.

“He deleted his search histories and his downloads which is contrary to the order he is subject to.”

Lightband (70), a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of attempted fraud committed on September 29 last year and breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

Defence solicitor John Boyle said: “There is an entrenched interest in young boys.

“He is well aware given his record and his most recent conviction that custody is inevitable.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed Lightband for three-and-a-half years.

He also placed Lightband on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and imposed a 10-year sexual offences prevention order.

The sheriff said: “This is an extremely serious case and an attack on the solicitor-client relationship.”

Turning to his breaching his sexual offences prevention order by deleting his child porn stash, he added: “I conclude that your behaviour was designed to circumvent the conditions of your sexual offences order.

“Viewing and downloading indecent images is part of the process of child abuse.

“Each image represents the abuse of a child and by viewing these images you create a demand for them.”

Lightband was jailed last March when a stash of child porn images was found on his computer after he gave his computer to a technician when it got a virus.

He had avoided a jail term in 2002 when he was found with a folder filled with nude images of young boys.

Lightband - who advertises himself online as a semi-retired organist, organ consultant and organ teacher - was eventually jailed last year when downloaded a stash of indecent images over a nine-month period in 2014 and 2015.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard he had downloaded six indecent images and 2000 “concerning images” over that time frame.

Jason Jordan was handed an Order for Lifelong Restriction (OLR) at the High Court in Glasgow in October 2016 after breaching a strict court order to download a cache of child porn shortly after being released from jail on other sexual offences.

The court heard he continues to present “a high risk”.