Oban paedophile told to ex­pect jail

The Oban Times - - FRONT PAGE -

A MAN found with nearly 170,000 in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren, in­clud­ing ba­bies, at his home in Oban has been told to ex­pect prison.

Lliam Martin, 34, of Dun­gal­lan Ter­race, Oban, pleaded guilty to pos­sess­ing in­de­cent pho­to­graphs of chil­dren, be­tween Novem­ber 14, 2008, and June 21, 2016.

Oban Sher­iff Court heard on Tues­day that it took two po­lice of­fi­cers nine months to count and cat­e­gorise the im­ages, but al­most 600,000 went unchecked be­cause they ran out of time.

Procu­ra­tor fis­cal Eoin McGinty said in­tel­li­gence sug­gested ‘an online ad­dress linked to the ac­cused’s home ad­dress had con­nected to the in­ter­net, and it con­tained im­ages of chil­dren’. Dur­ing a search on June 21, Mr McGinty said the ac­cused handed the po­lice five SD stor­age cards. There was an­other SD card, which he handed sep­a­rately to the po­lice, saying: ‘There is stuff on there.’ When the po­lice asked: ‘What stuff?’, he replied: ‘Porn of all ages.’ Po­lice also re­cov­ered a lap­top and an­other com­puter.

When in­ter­viewed by of­fi­cers, Mr McGinty said, ‘he ad­mit­ted hand­ing items to the po­lice, but stated he could not re­call what he said’.

Mr McGinty said im­ages of sex­ual ac­tiv­ity were cat­e­gorised in or­der of se­ri­ous­ness, with ‘A’ be­ing the most se­ri­ous. He ex­plained the sin­gle SD card con­tained 10,990 still im­ages and 12 mov­ing im­ages in cat­e­gory A; 13,845 still im­ages and six mov­ing im­ages in cat­e­gory B; and, in cat­e­gory C, 123,217 still im­ages and 22 mov­ing im­ages. Thou­sands more im­ages were found on the com­puter, lap­top and five SD cards.

They were ‘pre­dom­i­nantly fe­male, some male’, and, Mr McGinty added, ‘some of them are ba­bies’. Those who source im­ages some­times at­tempt to hide them. These have been cat­e­gorised and named. 168,880 still im­ages and 40 mov­ing im­ages is the grand to­tal. There had been 597,000 im­ages that had not been looked at or cat­e­gorised.’

These numbers, he said, ‘are cer­tainly at the top end’.

De­fer­ring sen­tence, Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son QC said: ‘I will re­quire a re­port and I want the op­por­tu­nity of view­ing a small se­lec­tion of im­ages you have been view­ing. You can an­tic­i­pate a cus­to­dial sen­tence.’

Martin was also placed on the sex of­fend­ers’ reg­is­ter.

Lliam Martin.

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