By Paul Lewis
19 November 2008 / The Guardian
A British paedophile who ran a Christian missionary orphanage for abandoned street children in Albania has been sentenced to 20 years in jail after being found guilty of sexually abusing children.
David Brown, 57, a charity worker from Edinburgh, opened the orphanage seven years ago, claiming to be receiving instructions from God. He was found guilty in Tirana's district court today of "sexual relations with minors".
When the Guardian recently interviewed him in prison, Brown denied ever abusing the boys at the "His Children" orphanage, a ramshackle and overcrowded home for Gypsy children in Tirana, Albania's capital.
"I came to Albania because I wanted to help the Albanian children," he said. "Everything that I set out to do has been violated. I was these children's father."
During his trial Brown accused two other British helpers at the home of committing the abuse. Dino Christodoulou, 45, a social therapy nurse from Blackburn in Lancashire, and Robin Arnold, 56, a salesman from Cromer in Norfolk were extradited to Albania in May and are being tried separately for their alleged role in the abuse.
Brown was arrested in May 2006, following a raid on the orphanage.
Sentencing him to the maximum sentence in a high security jail in Albania, the judge said he hoped the punishment would serve as a warning to other paedophiles. He ordered Brown to be expelled from Albania when he is released from prison, in 2028.
Before travelling to Albania, Brown provided bible lessons and camping holidays to boys in Scotland over two decades