Ex-prison official is spared jail for images
A FORMER senior prison service official who kept more than 22,000 images of child abuse for a decade has been spared jail because he did not download them.
Gordon Pike, 55, who retired as Trade Union Side Secretary for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) last year, had the illegal images at home in Erskine, Renfrewshire.
He was arrested by police at the SPS’s headquarters in Edinburgh.
Pike, 55, claimed he had unwittingly taken them home in a holdall that he thought was filled with gay porn from an LGBT organisation of which he was a member.
When he appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court yesterday after pled guilty to the offence under the Civic Government Scotland Act, Pike could have been jailed for up to five years.
However, Sheriff Susan Sinclair said the fact he had not downloaded the images was a significant mitigation and ordered him to carry out 240 hours’ unpaid work,
She said: “Had you downloaded the significant amount of images found in your possession, you would have been facing a significant period of imprisonment.
“Every child in an indecent image is, somewhere in the world, being abused for the gratification of an adult.
“The images concerned came into your possession unintentionally.”
She said that Pike’s “crime” was that he suspected some of the tapes and discs in the holdall contained indecent images of children.
The sheriff added: “You held on to it for 10 years and that could never be considered a reasonable period of time. But it is significant mitigation.
“I consider a direct alternative to imprisonment is appropriate in your case.”
Sentence on Pike, who had worked at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow for 23 years, was deferred from last month when procurator fiscal depute Alan Parfery said that computing equipment and discs were found during a search of Pike’s home in February 2016.
A review of his laptop and hard drive showed no evidence he had searched for or viewed child porn on the devices.
But a total of 45 discs were found in his home, containing more than 22,000 indecent images.