Published: 13/03/2017 16:52 - Updated: 13/03/2017 16:55

Invergordon man admits possessing indecent images of children

Case heard at Tain Sheriff Court.
Case heard at Tain Sheriff Court.

AN Easter Ross man has been put on the Sex Offenders’ Register and ordered to undertake unpaid work after admitting possessing indecent pictures of children as young as six.

James Dunbar, Gordon Terrace, Invergordon, had the 26 indecent images stored on two mobile phones.

They were found following a police raid on his home in December 2015 and featured young girls in erotic poses, Tain Sheriff Court was told today.

Fifty-two-year-old Dunbar said the pictures had been sent to him by another party and were unsolicited.

But he admitted between January 5, 2013, and December 12, 2015, having “indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children” in his possession at his home address.

Alison Wylie, prosecuting, said: “Police received information that caused them to get a search warrant and go to the accused’s premises on the day in question.

“They met with James Dunbar senior and his two sons, one now being the accused. When officers spoke to the people there to go through what they were looking for, the accused admitted having images.”

Police eventually took away computer items and mobile phones. The images were found on a Vodafone mobile and on another, black mobile.

Ms Wylie said: “Ultimately these were examined and 24 indecent images were recovered from a  two gig micro SD card in a Vodafone mobile phone.

“They featured girls as young as six in erotic poses and also non penetrative sexual poses with adults.

“The other mobile phone had two similar types of images.”

Ms Wylie said 24 of the images had been classed in the lowest category “C” - meaning they depicted some sexually suggestive contact.

However two of the images fell into the more serious category “B”  - meaning the depiction of explicit sexual activity.

Ms Wylie continued: “This matter started off on petition. However, due to the (low) number and the fact the images were at the lower end, the matter was reduced to a summary complaint.

“The accused was interviewed when police originally went to the premises. His position was that the images had been sent to him by unknown persons and he may have transferred them from one phone to the other via blue tooth.”

Ms Wylie told the court that Dunbar had reiterated throughout the police interview that he was not attracted to children and did not deliberately search for sexual images of children. He said he was the only person who had access to the mobiles in question.

Defence agent Neil Wilson said his client had “confessed” during the police interview and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said: “His statement that he has no sexual interest in young children accords with the forensic report.”

But the lawyer said a “considerable” amount of adult pornography had also been found including around 5800 sexualised texts from adult women.

He said: “It is plain that Mr Dunbar’s sexual interest is in adult women although the nature of that sexual interest may not be entirely healthy.

“But that is not what this case is about. It is about the 26 images on his phone. The images were unsolicited but he accepts that he did not do the decent and proper thing and get rid of them. Instead he kept them.”

The lawyer said it was accepted by the Crown the images were at the bottom of the scale.

He said: “I would simply be asking the court today to consider a high level community order with a supervision element and a considerable number of unpaid hours of work in the community.”

Mr Wilson said Dunbar had no recent convictions and no older convictions that were relevant. He had been classed as at a low risk of committing a sexual offence.

Sheriff Chris Dickson placed Dunbar on a community pay-back order with the requirements that he be under social work supervision for two years and complete 200 hours’ unpaid work in nine months. He also placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register for two years and granted a Crown motion for the forfeiture of the mobile phones.

Passing sentence, the sheriff said: “To possess any indecent images of children is a very serious offence.”

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