June 2021

Fife paedophile searched for teenage models

A Fife paedophile claimed his obsession with a teenage models was an “appreciation of beauty”.

Robert Ward told police he was not sexually attracted to children.

However, officers found hundreds of images on a laptop computer, half of which were still accessible.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard the 54-year-old broke down and told his partner: “I’ve been looking at things I shouldn’t have”.

The laptop was recovered from the bedroom used by a young girl staying at the address.

Depute fiscal Claire Bremner told the court: “At 8.10am officers executed a search warrant.

“The accused became upset and said: ‘I’m f***ing stupid, I’ve not downloaded anything but I’ve been looking at websites’.

“His wife asked why he was upset and he said: ‘I’ve been looking at things I shouldn’t have’.”

Ms Bremner said at this point officers recovered a laptop from the child’s bedroom.

Ward also admitted to officers the girl had been allowed to use the laptop containing the vile images.

He said he had been searching for teenage models and admitted to using the Tor browser “two or three times a week” and had looked at a modelling website.

Ms Bremner continued: “He said he was infatuated with one model, who appeared to be between 14 and 16 years old.

“He said he knew they (the models) were children.

“He said he was not sexually attracted to children, it was more an appreciation of her beauty.”

She said an examination of the laptop found 1,033 images.

Of those, 533 were accessible to the user.

All of the images depicted females aged between six and 15.

Ward, of Alma Street, Inverkeithing, admitted making indecent photographs of children at an address in Crosshill between December 27 2019 and March 9 last year.

Sentence was deferred for reports and Ward was placed on the sex offenders register in the interim.