June 2021

Champion archer caught with child abuse images set up jacuzzi spy cam at Fife home

A leading Scottish archer is facing jail after setting up a camera to spy on young women in their swimwear.

Karl Paddon, 58, who is listed as having clinched Scottish records for American and American Double archery target-shooting in July 2013, installed the equipment, normally used to monitor his dogs, at his seafront bungalow.

A court heard that he knew the young women, aged 25 and 26, would be using his jacuzzi when he was out.

Images of them in swimming costumes and “swimming underwear”, recorded in April 2018, was found on his phone when police raided his semi on the Promenade in Leven, Fife, acting on information that his IP address had been used to download child abuse images.

As well as the jacuzzi footage, they found more than 1,000 pornographic pictures of children – 124 of the most serious category – on Paddon’s laptop and iPad.

Giving evidence during a five-day trial, one of the women filmed in her swimwear became “visibly upset” in the witness box when shown one of the images of Paddon had recorded of her.

Prosecutor Michael Maguire said Paddon had deliberately set up the spycam to film the women “for some kind of sick kick”.

At Falkirk Sheriff Court, a remote jury found Paddon, of “Ravenscraig”, The Promenade, Leven, guilty by majority of two charges of voyeurism, and guilty, unanimously, of possessing and downloading child abuse images.

Jury members had earlier been warned by the presiding sheriff to “put aside any revulsion” they might feel for the matters they were being asked to deliberate about.

Paddon denied the charges.

He said in evidence that others had access to his password-protected equipment and he had no idea that there was illegal material on his devices.

However, forensic analysis showed that at one point an archery picture of Paddon’s had been downloaded the same day as some of the child porn — a fact which the Crown said pointed to Paddon having control of the laptop that day.

The court heard the police raid occurred on October 31st, 2019. Some of the images were downloaded as far back as November 2015, not only in Leven but also at a time when Paddon was living at a previous address in Thurso, Caithness, where he originally bought the laptop.

The machine’s search history revealed websites that it had been used to visit had titles including “Lolitas”, “Paedo Porno Exclusives” and “Only Small Baby”.

Paddon bowed his head in the dock when the verdicts were announced. A woman accompanying him wept openly on the public benches.

Sheriff William Gilchrist deferred sentence until July 7th for reports, and continued bail.

He told Paddon: “You must attend for an interview with a social worker.”