Elgin pervert leaves court cuffed despite avoiding jail for sex crime
A serial sex offender in Moray has avoided jail for his third offence in the space of a year.
Matthew Watson, who appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday from Barlinnie Prison, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to possessing indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of a 15-year-old child between September 14 and December 23 last year.
The court heard that Watson completed a 42-day jail term in December for indecent communication and behaviour with a child.
Within weeks of his release, further communication with a minor landed the 30-year-old in prison for four more months.
He was liberated again on April 17, but was re-arrested the following week for a third offence — for which he was sentenced yesterday.
Defence solicitor Matthew O’Neill said: “The nature of this charge is rather unusual as the images Mr Watson was found to possess were sent to him by the complainer in the previous cases.
“Initially test messages and then pictures were found on his phone in categories of images that can be brought before the court.”
Sheriff John Halley accept Mr O’Neill’s petition that a Community Payback Order (CPO) was an appropriate alternative to prison to try and put a stop to the behaviour.
The sheriff told Watson: “The offence is particularly serious because there is an actual young person involved in all of this who was 15 at the time.
“That is something that concerns me very much.
“A CPO is perhaps dealing with matters in a manner that is responsible and meaningfully deals with the nature of your offence in the hope of reducing the risk to children in the public interest.”
The Elgin man was sentenced to 240 hours of unpaid work, will be placed under supervision for three years and will remain on the sex offenders register for the duration of his order.
Despite avoiding jail, Watson left the court in police custody.
A police spokeswoman confirmed last night he had been arrested for a “separate offence”.