Scottish Daily Mail

Legal first as Scot found guilty of rape... after he live-streamed abuse from 6,000 miles away

- By Dave Finlay

A FORMER firefighte­r who directed sex attacks on vulnerable children while he watched has been jailed for 12 years.

Paedophile Gary Campbell paid for adults in the Philippine­s to abuse girls as young as four while he recorded it in ‘real time’ over the internet from his home in Scotland.

The 59yearold admitted 13 charges involving the sexual abuse of children aged 13 and under, including the rape of two girls aged eight and nine.

In a legal first, prosecutor­s were able to prove Campbell’s direct involvemen­t in the abuse more than 6,000 miles away after cybercrime investigat­ors traced online payments he made to foreign accounts. He was said to have paid as little as £10 for some of the attacks.

An internatio­nal investigat­ion helped prove the paedophile was as responsibl­e for the attacks as the perpetrato­rs in the Philippine­s, known in law as ‘art and part’ guilt. He was convicted under legislatio­n protecting children anywhere in the world from sexual abuse by British nationals.

Jailing Campbell at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, judge Lord Beckett said: ‘You used the advantage of the comparativ­e wealth of our society in order to pay people to corrupt children.’

He was also given a threeyear sentence extension, during which he will be subject to close supervisio­n. He will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinite­ly.

Campbell – who also worked as a water treatment operative for Scottish Water – pleaded guilty to the charges at the High Court in Edinburgh last month.

The court heard that police raided his home in May 2021 after informatio­n was received that he had made payments on 13 occasions to a woman in the Philippine­s who was later arrested for producing, possessing and distributi­ng indecent images of children and for livestream­ing child abuse.

Advocate depute Margaret Barron told how videos and chat logs recovered from his electronic equipment indicated Campbell was watching the children being attacked in ‘real time’ and directing the assaults.

A number of devices seized from his home were found to contain child sexual abuse material.

The crimes were committed between June 2012 and August 2014 while Campbell was living in the village of Lochinver, Sutherland. He later moved to Perth.

Defence solicitor advocate Shahid Latif said Campbell was a first offender who had seen a psychother­apist and undertaken work to deal with the factors that led to the offending. He told the court: ‘There is no doubt he is thoroughly ashamed and disgusted by his behaviour.’

Speaking after the case, Fraser Gibson, procurator fiscal for High Court sexual offences, said the girls assaulted and raped were ‘vulnerable young children suffering dreadful abuse and exploitati­on’.

Detective Chief Inspector Michael Smith, of Specialist Crime Division Public Protection, described Campbell’s offending as ‘utterly appalling’.

An NSPCC Scotland spokesman said: ‘This is a deeply disturbing case which shows the devastatin­g harm that child sexual abusers can cause online.’ The charity also called for companies to tackle the way their platforms contribute to such abuse.

 ?? ?? ‘Utterly appalling’: Campbell
‘Utterly appalling’: Campbell

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom