No jail term for Fife man who sent sexual images
Stuart Allan had indecent conversations with ‘decoy’ posing as child
An Amazon worker who was outed as a sex offender live on Facebook by a vigilante group was yesterday spared a jail sentence.
Stuart Allan – who was sacked from his job at the online retail giant’s Dunfermline facility last week – was lured into online chats with a woman posing as a 13-year-old girl.
He went on to send the decoy sexual images – prompting the online vigilante group Angels of Innocence to set up a sting operation.
They confronted Allan outside a Tesco store in Dunfermline, close to the Amazon warehouse where he then worked, broadcasting the sting to hundreds of viewers live on Facebook.
During the three-minute film Allan repeatedly told the group he was “sorry” while they threatened to “take him down using reasonable force” if he tried to run.
The confrontation on July 8 ended with police being called and Allan was then arrested and appeared in court the following day.
The accused’s lawyer told Dundee Sheriff Court that his client had tried to take his own life in the aftermath of his first court appearance.
It is understood he drove his car into the River Tay in Newburgh, Fife, where he then lived, on July 13 – four days after his court appearance.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing a car “flying” over the edge of the town’s harbour area into the water before the occupant was rescued by a nearby boat.
Allan, 45, of Poplar Crescent, Kirkcaldy, pled guilty on summary complaint to a charge under the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act.
He admitted talking to the decoy through social media applications Kik and Whatsapp and intentionally causing them to look at a sexual image, sending sexual images and engaging in sexualised conversation.
The father of two admitted attempting to communicate indecently with a child and attempting to send sexual images to a child.
Defence advocate Jonathan Crowe told the court that Allan’s behaviour was linked to his client previously losing his job.
The lawyer said: “There was a brief period of unemployment and during that he was spending more and more time on the internet.
“He was drawn to adult chat sites and ultimately was spending more and more time there and less with his family.
“That had a very serious impact on his relationship. That ultimately led to the offence before the court and he takes full responsibility for that.”
Sheriff Alison Mckay imposed a community payback order with three years’ supervision, conduct requirements around his contact with children and internet use, and a requirement to take part in a sex offenders rehabilitation programme.
Allan was also placed on the sex offenders register for three years.
Stuart Allan was confronted by a vigilante group outside a supermarket in Dunfermline and was told they would “take him down using reasonable force” if he tried to run.