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Morocco sentences British paedophile to 20 years in prison

A Moroccan Criminal Court sentenced on Tuesday a British man to 20 years in prison on charges of attempting to kidnap and rape three minors, a judicial source reported.


The head of the Northern Observatory for Human Rights, Mohamed Benaissa, told AFP news agency that the Moroccan court in Tetouan sentenced Robert Bill to 20 years in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 dirhams (9,000 Euros), adding that the defendant has ten days to appeal the verdict.

Benaissa said, "We welcome this ruling, because it protects the children and it sends a warning to paedophiles."

Bill, who is a former schoolteacher and known sexual predator, was accused of kidnapping three young girls and attempting to violently rape them, as well as illegally staying in Morocco and illegal possession of foreign goods, the rights organisation reported.

The defendant denied the charges against him, claiming that his love for children forced him to abduct the victims, before breaking into sobs in the courtroom.

Bill was arrested in July near the city of Tetouan in northern Morocco when locals overheard the screams of a six-year-old child in his car.

The sexual predator travelled to Morocco in November 2012 after a failed attempt to kidnap a girl in southern Spain to rape her and demand a ransom.

Before traveling abroad, Bill had already spent two years in prison in the UK on charges of assaulting a minor and he remained under surveillance after his release from prison, prompting him to escape to Spain and then to Morocco.

According to the Observatory, the Interpol issued an international arrest warrant against him while he was hiding in Morocco despite the expiry of his stay permit.

Thousands of Moroccans gathered in Casablanca in May 2013 to condemn child sexual abuse after an incident when a kidnapped child was found soaked in her own blood after she vigorously defended herself from her attacker.

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