December 2019

Man who possessed 300 indecent child photos sentenced to community payback order

A Nairn man escaped a jail sentence when he was sentenced for possessing almost 300 indecent photographs and videos of children as young as eight.

Ross Nicholson (22) had previously admitted at Inverness Sheriff Court being in possession of the images between May 2018 and January of this year.

Sentence was deferred for a background report which Sheriff Sara Matheson considered before placing Nicholson on a community payback order with 30 months supervision and participation in a sex offender’s programme.

He was also placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for the same period.

Defence solicitor Marc Dickson said his client had lost his job and relationship as a result of his conviction. “He is acutely aware that his behaviour was inappropriate.”

Sheriff Matheson told Nicholson: “People like you lead to a market for these images resulting in further abuse of children.”

The court had earlier been told that on January 18 police received intelligence that indecent images of children had been uploaded to an online chat platform.

The internet address from where the images had been uploaded was located to a router in Blairfield Road, Nairn.

A report was subsequently sent to the National Child Abuse Investigation Unit in Inverness and a search warrant was granted to police for the relevant property in that street, Nicholson’s home address.

The raid was carried out on January 31 and when officers arrived, Nicholson told two police officers: “It’s the computer that you’re looking for.”

He then added: “I wasn’t looking for it but I saw it. “There’s nothing on it now as I don’t use it.”

Later, he admitted that he had used the chat room website site where the images – which also included a video of a woman involved in a sexual act with an animal – were found.

The fiscal added: “He denied he gained any sexual gratification from them.”

A total of 176 images and 121 videos were discovered.