AN IRVINE sex offender in his 50s has dodged jail after kissing a 13-year-old girl.

Ian Robb, 59, walked free from custody after four months on remand for sexually abusing the youngster when he returned to Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last week.

This came after his sentencing had to be delayed – from the previous week and again last Wednesday– due to his own defence solicitor deciding to stop representing him when he claimed he did not understand pleading guilty would automatically put him on the sex offenders register.

Robb, whose address is listed in Caldon Road, Irvine, sexually assaulted the child who was aged 13 by kissing her on the mouth at another address in the town in June 19 this year.

The Procurator Fiscal’s complaint states Robb committed the sexual offence while already on bai.

When he appeared in the dock to face trial last month Robb pleaded guilty to the single charge on the complaint.

He was ordered to sign on as a sex offender and placed on the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme while sentencing was adjourned for criminal justice social work reports.

When he returned for sentencing last week [November 24], the court heard his previous solicitor Gillian Swanney withdrew from representing him – after he claimed he understood his guilty plea would not involve being put on the sex offender register.

New defence solicitor Manus Tolland said: “He accepts he pled guilty but still insists there was no sexual motivation in it or no gratification from it – nevertheless he did what he did.

“He accepts it would have upset the young girl who was not a relation.”

Sheriff Ward said : “The problem is its not one of these situations where I decide he goes on the register or not, because its a Section 3 it’s automatic.

“As soon as he pleads guilty – and you tell me he accepts his guilt – there is an automatic sequence which is he’s on the register.”

Addressing the dock, Sheriff Ward said: “Mr Robb, any sexual assault on a young girl is a serious matter but I do accept this is probably at the bottom end of the scale.

“But the child was 13 and was upset, in the circumstances and bearing in mind you have been in custody for the period of time that you have, what I propose to do is to impose a total sentence of four months imprisonment – two months because you committed the offence subject to two separate bail orders, I will backdate that sentence to when you were first remanded in custody.

“And you will be placed on the sexual offenders register for seven years.”