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Man avoids jail over 'foul videos' of children found in Sutherland home

By Court Reporter

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Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald
Sheriff Eilidh MacDonald

A sheriff told a former Sutherland man she found it "unfathomable" how anyone could derive pleasure from watching young children being sexually abused.

Martin Kula, formerly of Tongue and now living in Loch Street, Wick, was appearing for sentence at Inverness Sheriff Court on Tuesday after previously admitting possessing indecent images and videos.

Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald had been told that National Child Abuse Investigation officers raided the 40-year-old's previous home and found hundreds of child abuse videos and still images on his devices.

The search of Kula's property in Tongue took place on July 27 last year and the devices seized included two phones, a laptop and a USB memory stick.

Fiscal depute Robert Weir told the court that an initial examination of them revealed several hundred images involving children as young as one year old.

Kula pleaded guilty to possessing the graphic material and failing to provide the PIN for one of his phones. Sentence was deferred for a background report.

Mr Weir said that after forensic analysis, 39 accessible and six inaccessible videos in category A, which is the most obscene, were discovered along with 182 stills, and 14 inaccessible.

In Category B, 32 videos and nine inaccessible plus 34 still, two of which were inaccessible, were found.

The prosecutor added that 136 videos in Category C and 73 inaccessible ones plus 30 stills and five inaccessible images were also retrieved.

Defence solicitor advocate Clare Russell said: "He has done a significant amount of work to address his offending. In fact, I have never seen an individual carry out as much work.

"He has shown remorse to me and this could be dealt with by a robust community payback order."

Sheriff Macdonald agreed but warned Kula would be jailed if he failed to co-operate.

"These are foul videos and images of real children with real lives who were hurt and their lives damaged.

"I always find it unfathomable how anyone can take pleasure out of seeing very young children being harmed in this way."

Kula was ordered to carry out a total of 291 hours of unpaid community work, placed under social work supervision for three years and to take part in the "Moving Forward Making Changes" rehabilitation programme.

He was also placed on the sex offender's register for the same period.

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