December 2015

Angus man caught with child images told police “it’s not what you think”

An “articulate and intelligent” Angus man snared with a haul of indecent child images has avoided prison.

Gavin Scally told police: “It was me, it’s not what you think, it’s nothing sexual” when the Forfar home he shares with his parents was raided last October after police received information that a device associated with the property’s internet link had uploaded indecent images of children.

The 35-year-old, of Thornton Park in Forfar appeared for sentence at the town’s sheriff court.

He previously admitted possessing indecent images of children between October 2013 and October 2014.

The court heard that a computer tower, mobile phone and tablet device were all seized in the operation.

Depute fiscal Jim Eodonable said that Scally had been co-operative with police when they arrived at the family home.

Scally told officers: “It was an accident initially but I felt something.

“I know what I was doing was illegal but I felt something, not like that, nothing sexual.”

When forensically examined at the cyber crime unit, experts uncovered 211 images of children on the computer tower, the majority at category C but a small number at the highest level category A.

A mobile phone was found to have over 650 images and a tablet device just over 200 images, the court was told.

Defence solicitor Michael Boyd said: “What has taken place has come as a great shock to the family.”

He said the vast majority of the material had been deleted and was not readily accessible on the devices.

“There has been no deviousness in how these images have been stored,” added the lawyer.

“He has held down a job at McDonalds and presents as an articulate and intelligent man.

“He recognises that this is not a victimless crime,” said Mr Boyd.

Sheriff Pino Di Emidio told Scally: “The court has to take these matters very seriously.”

He noted that the offence had involved possession over a substantial period of time and included some material “at the higher end of the scale.”

The sheriff said: “A Community Payback Order will be made as an alternative to a sentence of imprisonment.”

Scally’s three-year CPO will include supervision and programme requirements, including participation in the Tay Project for sex offenders, a ban on accessing the internet in any way without prior approval from supervising officers and on supervised or unsupervised contact with under-17s without prior confirmation.

His name will also be added to the Sex Offenders Register for the duration of the order.