Man downloaded abuse images ‘to help Madeleine McCann inquiry’
A man who downloaded hundreds of child abuse images and videos as part of a “one man crusade” to find missing Madeleine McCann has avoided a jail sentence.
David Brinkman, 68, was previously warned he could face jail after admitting trawling through hundreds of indecent images and videos of children when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
He admitted downloading nearly 700 images and more than 80 videos claiming he suspected the missing child had been abducted into a paedophile ring.
However he was nearly allowed to walk free on Wednesday due to a Crown blunder.
No representative of the Crown turned up at the morning sentencing which meant the case could have fallen through at the final hurdle.
However a fiscal depute was found later in the day and Brinkman was duly sentenced.
Sheriff Napier said he was satisfied he could impose a community payback order, with 200 hours unpaid work in the community and a three-year supervision requirement.
Brinkman was also placed on the sex offenders register for three years.
The qualified engineer said he scoured the material to try and spot a child that shared the young girl’s distinct eye defect, while he also “bartered” with other perverts online to exchange more indecent material.
Sentencing at Aberdeen Sheriff Court had been deferred for the preparation of a psychology report.
It was ordered by sheriff Graeme Napier to determine if Brinkman posed a risk to children and to give an insight into his obsession with the case.
The report said Brinkman was not a “sexual deviant” but that he showed some “cognitive impairment”.
No “special” risk to children had been identified by the psychologist but it was reported that further assessment may be needed in the future.
Sheriff Napier said: “This is one of the more unusual cases of this type that I’ve had to deal with.
“From the reports available it appears that you do not pose a significant risk to children.
“Having considered all of the reports I’m satisfied that I can deal with you by way of a community payback order.
“This is a serious offence which could have justified a custodial sentence.”
Madeleine disappeared from an apartment while on holiday with her parents in Portugal eight years ago, sparking one of the biggest missing persons investigation in decades.
Mr Monro said Brinkman became determined to solve the mystery after reading a book by Madeleine’s mother, Kate.
She has been hunting for her missing child with husband Gerry, originally from Glasgow, since she vanished.
Mr Monro said previously: “He has been on this one man crusade as he is perfectly satisfied that Madeleine McCann was removed from the property in 2007 and has found her way into a paedophile ring.
“As we know Madeleine McCann has a distinct mark in her eye. He thought if he trawled through this material he might see for himself.
“He finds it sickening to look at these things but he thought that his crusade was such that he had to go through it.”
Police seized a copy of the Kate McCann book from Brinkman’s flat along with the indecent material.
The 694 indecent pictures and 88 clips, with a runtime of nearly five hours, were collected between April 2013 and January 2014.
Brinkman admitted having possession and taking or permitting to be taken or making photos or pseudo photos of children at his flat when he appeared in court earlier this year.
Aberdeen man caught with indecent images was ‘looking for Madeleine McCann’
A MAN who was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children claimed he was trawling through the images in a “one-person crusade” – to find Madeleine McCann.
David Brinkman, 68, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after previously admitting a string of charges.
He had admitted being in possession of indecent images of children. He also had extreme adult porngraphic images.
And Brinkman also admitted charges of distributing both extreme adult images and the child images.
The offences took place between April 2013 and January last year.
The court heard that he was bartering them to get further child images as part of his “obsession” with finding missing youngster Madeleine McCann.
Brinkman had 694 indecent images of children and 88 videos – which had a run time if four hours 57 minutes.
He also had 46 pictures of “extreme” adult pornography and 19 videos.
Defence agent Mike Monro said of Brinkman – who has worked as an electrical engineer, in a career that had taken him around the world: “He is totally a first offender and has been a useful member of society.”
He went on to say that Brinkman claimed he had not had any previous desire to look a child pornography.
He said: “All of this was done by the accused in that he deliberately stored these. He has this theory – this fixation as to the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann.
“He has this one-person crusade.
“He is perfectly satisfied that she was removed from the property in 2007 and has since found her way into a paedophillia ring – either sole or group.
“I have asked him time and again to provide the basis of this theory – the basis is in his own mind.
“He became fascinated with the McCann situation from having read a book by her mother Kate.”
Mr Monro went on to say that as a result of his theory Brinkman became “meshed” in looking at indecent child pictures.
He said: “To say it was looking for a needle in a haystack would be an understatement.”
Mr Monro said that in reference to the missing child’s unusual eye marking Brinkman thought if he trawled through the pictures he might find her.
He said: “He finds it sickening to look at these things but he thought that his crusade was such that he had to go through it.
“He then started storing extreme adult pornography – and that’s where the bartering started.”
Mr Monro said that Brinkmsn felt if he gave the images to others he would get child images and “somewhere along the line” find Madeleine McCann.
Sheriff Graeme Napier deferred sentence in Brinkman, whose address was given in court as Richmond Street, Aberdeen, until next month for a psychologist’s report.