July 2021

Paedo who ‘groomed girl, 12’ & had 250 sick child abuse pics dodges jail

A Scottish pervert caught grooming someone he thought was a 12-year-old girl has dodged jail.

Alexander Carruthers, 55, also had over 250 of the sickest child abuse videos – as well as more than 360 other indecent pics or videos of kids.

The beast was electronically tagged on a home curfew for nine months and made subject to strict social work supervision for three years.

He will also remain subject to the notification requirements for convicted sex offenders for the next five years, banning him from being alone with children under the age of 16 and having his internet use closely monitored.

Carruthers was caught in a cross border ‘sting’ by a paedophile hunter group called The Fleetwood Enforcers in Blackpool working with a similar group in Scotland.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard he was lured into having a sexual chat with an adult decoy, who was pretending to be an under-age schoolgirl.

The fake Facebook profile was actually being run by an adult member of a paedophile hunter group.

The court heard Carruthers even sent photographs of himself and details of where he lived in Scotland, which – along with his sexual messages – were forwarded to West Lothian group Shattering the Silence.

A member of the group, went to confront him at his home in Denholm Grove, Armadale, and live-streamed the encounter on Facebook.

She asked him if he had been responsible for grooming the Facebook decoy and he said “Aye”. When she asked him if he knew her age he again replied “Aye”. 

Police saw the video footage and arrested him the same night.

He gave cops permission to search his house and officers seized computer equipment which was found to contain hundreds of indecent movies and still images of youngsters being sexually abused.

Carruthers appeared for sentence today after pleading guilty to intentionally attempting to communicate indecently with a child for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing a person who he believed was under the age of 13.

He admitted repeatedly sending sexual communications to the decoy between May 19 and 31 May, 2020, and possessing hundreds of indecent photographs of children being sexually abused at his home between June 1, 2019, and June 3, 2020.

Police found 251 videos and nine photographs in category A – the most serious level of child abuse media – 102 videos and five images in category B, and 108 videos and 151 images in category C.

Kate Irwin, prosecuting, said the chat with the decoy started on Facebook then continued on the WhatsApp platform where the accused repeatedly called the ‘girl’ “beautiful”.

She said: “Messages from the accused became more sexualised in their nature and included the accused discussing physical and sexual contact that he would like with the witness ‘Sophia’.

“He’s also sent a photograph of himself and made comments about her coming to Scotland.

“After these regular messages the witness [from The Fleetwood Enforcers] contacted the other team and told them the accused’s address.”

Passing sentence on Carruthers, who is a wheelchair user, Sheriff Susan Craig told him the offences were serious enough to cross the threshold for custodial sentence.

However, she added: “The report is quite positive in terms of the work that can be done with you and I’m particularly influenced by comments that you are at low risk of further offending if you’re given a chance to address the reasons behind it.

“That’s no easy route for you, Mr Carruthers, because it will be extremely hard work but it has an extremely high success rate.

“I hope as a result this will be your only appearance in court.”