Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 11:31 UK

'Predatory' ex-teacher to appeal

Robert Bill
Robert Bill had three separate trials for the different offences

A former teacher and church official jailed for attempting to abduct a five-year-old child is appealing against his convictions.

Robert Bill, 54, of St Asaph, Denbighshire, was told by a judge that he had an "unhealthy sexual and predatory interest in children".

He has also been convicted separately of indecently assaulting a young girl, and possessing 730 indecent images.

The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal in London later this year.

Bill, a senior Jehovah's Witness, taught art and design for 16 years before setting up a playground equipment company in 1991, then later a play company with his sons called Play Zone.

His trial at Mold Crown Court last year heard he had stopped on an estate in Holywell, Flintshire, in his Ford Mondeo on the afternoon of 22 June, 2007 and asked a five-year-old girl, returning home from a playground, if she had seen a cat.

Prosecutor Simon Medland said the incident had been seen by the girl's mother from her window, and the girl's uncle appeared before an abduction could take place.

Bill, previously a man of good character, had denied the charged and claimed he stopped his car to check a wheel and had not approached the child.

Indecent images

Mr Medland also said when Bill ran his playground equipment company he had been warned off a holiday park in Towyn by police after officials became concerned about his behaviour towards children.

Bill, who was put on the sex offender register for 10 years, was told by the judge he had an "unhealthy sexual and predatory interest" in children.

In separate trials, he had also been convicted of indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl 10 years ago in St Asaph, and possessing 730 indecent images last September.

Bill was sentenced to four years in prison for the attempted abduction of the girl, 18 months for indecent assault and six months for possession of indecent images, which were said to be of the lowest category, and he was disqualified from working with children.

His appeal against the convictions will be heard on 13 November.

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