Two convicted paedophiles who exchanged sick letters from behind bars discussing how they could rape and murder children received life sentences today.
Paul Hannah, 37, and Robert Aitman, 35, had previously been cellmates before ending up in separate prisons. The duo were subject to strict Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO) due to earlier crimes.
But, they flouted it by repeatedly secretly writing to one another during almost seven months in 2020. Some of what was penned – much too graphic to explain in detail – was read during a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.
It included Hannah discussing harming a child and then arranging to “snuff a kid” out and “disposing” of the body. He also urged Aitman to try and convince a judge his fellow pervert was “not a danger”.
Aitman meantime spoke of “going online to to talk with people with kids” and how he missed being Hannah’s “co-pilot”.
The pair both pled guilty to breaching the SOPO the terms of which included an order not to contact other sex offenders.
Judge Lord Beckett put the pair on an order for lifelong restriction at Friday’s sentencing. Hannah was ordered to carry out a punishment period behind bars of at least 18 months while Aitman received 20 months.
The judge earlier heard how Hannah claimed the first covid lockdown had left him feeling “isolated” and that was why he wrote the letters to Aitman.
Hannah had orginally been jailed in 2017 for having indecent images of children. He was the hit with the SOPO a year later.
Aitman – also known as McNab – was given the same order in 2020. He also had convictions for child porn and other related offences, which had seen him locked up.
Hannah latterly ended up in Glasgow’s Barlinnie prison with Aitman in Low Moss in Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire.
Prosecutor Adrian Stalker told how staff at Low Moss became aware in late 2020 that Aitman had letters detailing sexual offences. Five letters addressed to Aitman and signed by Hannah were seized.
A further five were then found in Hannah’s Barlinnie cell, which had been sent by Aitman. They were written and sent between May 25 2020 and December 5 2020.
In the first read by Mr Stalker, it included Hannah asking if Aitman was “still up for getting together” when they get out.
Aitman replied stating he had spoken to “a couple of women” and that the women would apparently have his children.
He went on: “Why don’t you look into moving into Paisley or somewhere near, so you are not living too far away from me. We could go online to try and talk to people with kids. I miss being your co-pilot.”
Hannah went on to state to Aitman: “You need to try and convince the judge you are not a danger.”
He also mentioned both having been in the press and that the “best thing” would be to “move away” and “change your name”.
The letters went on to describe and discuss children. This included Hannah writing about getting rid of any “evidence”.
He said: “I’ve had discussions with a few guys…and they have no issue with snuffing a kid and disposing of them. How do you feel about that?”
Hannah’s lawyer Sean Templeton said the pervert was now “thoroughly ashamed” at what was written. The advocate added: “The date in May 2020 was during the first lockdown.
“His position is that he felt isolated, alone at that time and essentially reached out (to Aitman). This is his explanation.”
John Brannigan, defending Aitman, said it was accepted the “terms of the letters are of grave concern”.
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