August 2021

Edinburgh man used ‘covert cleaner app’ to delete images of children from computer

Brian Reid downloaded hundreds of images and movies depicting the sexual abuse of children. (Image: Alexander Lawrie)

A pervert who used a covert “cleaner app” to delete child abuse images from his computer after he had viewed them has been jailed for eight months.

Brian Reid, 63, downloaded hundreds of images and movies depicting the sexual abuse of children between the ages of six and 12-years-old.

Reid was found to have 397 still pictures and 387 videos of children being abused when police raided his home in the Shandon area of the capital last year.

A subsequent analysis of a laptop, a USB stick and an SD card taken from his home showed Reid was using a computer programme that deletes images once they had been viewed.

But cyber crime officers were able to recover all the deleted images on the three devices which had been seized.

Reid pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing indecent images of children when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

The carpet fitter returned to the dock for sentencing on Friday where Sheriff Daniel Kelly acknowledged he had “expressed remorse” and had been attending sessions with Stop It Now.

Sheriff Kelly added: “On the other hand there are some aggravations, notably that some of these images were Category A.

“And I have to take account of the age range, and in your situation they range from children of six years upwards.

“I also have to take into account the attempt to dispose or conceal evidence through an application.”

Reid was jailed for eight months and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Last month the court heard police officers arrived at Reid’s home with a search warrant on October 20 last year after receiving intelligence images were being accessed at the property

Fiscal depute Rosie Cook said the horrific images and video footage were of children between six-years-old and 12-years-old being sexually abused by adults.

The court heard there were 44 Category A images – the most depraved end of the spectrum – 40 at category B and a further 313 Category C.

Police found internet file names on the devices including “12-year-old boy”, “seven-year-old and 10-year-old” and one labelled “pre-teen HC”.

The court was told Reid was interviewed by police and admitted to owning the devices and to using “a cleaner app” which attempts to destroy traces of the images after being viewed.

Reid pleaded guilty to taking, or allowing to be taken, indecent images of children at his home between June 27 and October 20 last year.

He also admitted a charge of possessing indecent images of children between the same dates.