April 2011

Jail for man who continued to deny knowledge of indecent images found on computer

A man found guilty of making and possessing indecent images of children has been jailed after Perth Sheriff Court heard he continued to deny the offences.

Roderick MacMaster could have escaped custody but for his insistence he had no idea how images came to be found on his home computer.

He claimed his computer had not been password protected and told Perth Sheriff Court that he had not been responsible for loading the images.

However, MacMaster, of Kinloch Rannoch, was found guilty following a two-day trial before Sheriff Michael Fletcher of taking or permitting to be taken indecent photographs of children on October 17, 2009.

The 45-year-old was also found guilty of a second offence, that he was in possession of indecent photographs of children between October 17 and 28, 2009.

The pictures were assessed as being at level one, which is the lowest level of image.

Addressing the court on Wednesday, solicitor David Holmes said his client accepted he had been found guilty of both charges at trial, but maintained his account given in evidence.

“His position is that he did not commit these offences.”

He added that MacMaster had a restricted record with “nothing of this kind in his past” and asked the sheriff to consider a non-custodial sentence.

However, Sheriff Fletcher dashed the accused’s hopes, telling him that he had committed serious offences.

“You do not accept that you committed these offences and that raises the issue of public protection very forcefully,” he said. “There is a suggestion that a probation order with a condition that you attend the Tay Project (which works to rehabilitate those who have been convicted of sexual offences) might be a way of dealing with you.

“I would follow that recommendation if I thought that this would protect the public from future harm, but I am not convinced, given your view on the matter. You do not accept that you did this, and so I am left with no option but to impose a custodial sentence.”

He sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment.

MacMaster will also be subject to the conditions of the sex offenders register for the nextseven years as a result of time in prison.