March 2015

Dundee man caught with indecent images spared jail

A man who created and distributed indecent images of children narrowly avoided jail by agreeing to abide by a raft of strict conditions.

John Charles Alexander Stewart, 35, of Happyhillock Road, Dundee, was convicted of three charges relating to creating, possessing and distributing indecent images of children and was sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court.

The possession charge was over almost two years, from April 2012 to February 2014, while the creation and distribution was over a two-week period in February 2014.

As a direct alternative to custody a three-year package of measures was put in place to monitor Stewart, including banning him from entering certain places with children, possessing internet access or taking on employment or accommodation without permission from his supervising officer.

Part of the community payback order included a treatment order for Stewart to take part in the Tay Project which runs programmes for convicted adult sex offenders.

Stewart is also only permitted to have access to one phone, which he must surrender to police for examination at any time without notice.

Other conduct requirements are that Stewart must inform his supervising officer of any contact with children under 17 years old, he must not knowingly enter any park, children’s play area, school, nursery ground or other place where children under 17 habitually reside.

He was also sentenced to 300 hours of unpaid work in the community which must be carried out within one year, and he is subject to the standard notification requirements of the sex offenders register.

Sentencing Stewart, Sheriff Way told him: “You brought yourself to the brink of going to prison and the only thing keeping you out is that you want to undergo the Tay Project.

“If you do not comply there will be no second chances and no other way forward than for me to put you somewhere I can be sure, and the public can be sure, you will not be a risk to anyone.”