July 2020

Fife bestiality pervert returned to computer crime months after release from prison

A former Dundee College student from St Andrews has been caged after being caught with extreme images of people having sex with animals.

As well as almost 500 pictures showing bestial acts involving dogs and horses, Shaun Butler also had nearly 2,000 disturbing pictures and videos involving children.

Sex offender Butler was jailed for 34 months at Cupar Sheriff Court in 2013 for possessing and sharing 6,000 “sadistic” images of babies and youngsters being sexually abused.

He returned to offending just a few months after his release date.

He was remanded again at Livingston Sheriff Court on Monday and warned to expect another jail term for the new offences.

Butler, now of Marjory Court, Bathgate, pled guilty to charges of possessing the abuse material involving children on July 7, 2020 and the animal material between January 17, 2017 and August 12, 2019.

He committed the crimes while subject to an order which made him and his computer equipment liable to checks by specialist police offender management officers.

Kate Irwin, prosecuting, said two such officers had visited the accused’s home on August 12.

She said: “Police noticed a laptop open in a coffee table in the living room.

“The accused was asked if examination could be undertaken, which he complied with.

“During the examination police noted files indicating extreme pornographic material involving animals and bestiality, these files having been created on 11 January 2017 and last accessed on 11 August 2019.

“The laptop was sent for examination by the cybercrime unit and there were a total of 479 extreme pornographic images found depicting penetrative sexual activity with dogs and horses.”

During the forensic examination of the computer, police found information that appeared to point to indecent images of children and sought a search warrant for the accused’s home.

On July 7 last year they seized a Samsung Galaxy tablet which “proved positive for indecent images”.

The tablet contained a large cache of images and videos, 63 of them in category A – the most serious grouping – 526 category B and 1,388 category C.

Sheriff Peter Hammond added the accused’s name to the Sex Offenders Register for the second time, for a period to be decided when sentence is passed on August 6.

In the earlier prosecution, Cupar Sheriff Court was told the ages of the children in Butler’s photographs ranged from a few months to 15 years.

His then-defence agent Jacqueline Meisel said her client – living in St Andrews and a games development student at Dundee College – had a sexual preference for boys aged 10 to 15, and claimed he only looked at about 30% of the images.

In addition to the jail sentence, Sheriff Charles Macnair imposed a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning Butler from having software capable of permanently deleting material and from having a computer capable of storing images unless he made it available to the police for inspection on request.