Aitken’ s bak­ery boss jailed

Head of firm gets 18 months for in­de­cent images

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHRIS JAFFRAY

The rep­u­ta­tion of the boss of Aberdeen’s most iconic bak­ery is in tat­ters af­ter he was jailed for 18 months yes­ter­day for amass­ing a sick­en­ing cache of child abuse images.

Aberdeen Sher­iff Court heard David Aitken has “lost ev­ery­thing” af­ter it emerged he had been view­ing the hor­rific images over a seven-year pe­riod at his home on An­der­son Drive in the city.

The 60-year-old, of the fam­ily-run Aitkens Bak­ery, which has been known through­out the north-east for decades, has also been placed on the sex of­fend­ers regis­ter for the next decade.

Po­lice of­fi­cers de­scended upon his home on Oc­to­ber 17 last year and seized his com­puter equip­ment, in­clud­ing hard drives, af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip-off about il­licit ac­tiv­ity.

Aitken was traced a short time later at his work and started to shake when ap­proached by of­fi­cers in­tent on tak­ing him into cus­tody.

A foren­sic search of his com­put­ers by spe­cial­ist e-crime of­fi­cers re­cov­ered 15,961 still images of an in­de­cent na­ture and 405 videos.

Hun­dreds were at the most se­ri­ous level, show­ing bru­tal abuse of chil­dren.

Aitken ad­mit­ted pos­ses­sion of in­de­cent images be­tween March 2010 and Novem­ber last year dur­ing an ear­lier ap­pear­ance in court.

He re­turned yes­ter­day to be sen­tenced and to of­fer an apol­ogy to his fam­ily and those mem­bers of staff who will be af­fected by his shame.

Aitkens Bak­ery has been a city in­sti­tu­tion for many years and though its bak­eries on Glen­bervie Road and Men­zies Road in Torry and John Street and Hol­burn Street in Aberdeen were put up for sale ear­lier this year, its two shops in Torry, where it started, re­main open.

De­fence agent An­drew Or­mis­ton said the dis­cov­ery of the of­fences had taken a dev­as­tat­ing toll on his client.

He told the court: “Other than this of­fence, he is a man of gen­eral good char­ac­ter.

“It is fair to say that Mr Aitken has lost ev­ery­thing as a re­sult of this of­fend­ing be­hav­iour.”

Mr Or­mis­ton added that the im­pact had been dev­as­tat­ing for him as well as his “fam­ily and em­ploy­ees”.

“He had taken steps to pro­tect those who have been af­fected by his con­duct,” he said.

Im­pos­ing a sen­tence,

“There is no al­ter­na­tive to a cus­to­dial sen­tence”

Sher­iff Wil­liam Sum­mers told Aitken: “These are not vic­tim­less crimes.

“Any child who ap­pears in these images is likely to have been the vic­tim of abuse and in some cases se­ri­ous abuse.

“Un­til this mo­ment in time you have been a pro­duc­tive mem­ber of so­ci­ety.

“In your case I am deal­ing with a large num­ber of images – al­most 16,000 with al­most 700 in the most se­ri­ous cat­e­gory.

“Against that back­ground there is no al­ter­na­tive to a cus­to­dial sen­tence.”

He jailed Aitken for 18 months and placed him on the sex of­fend­ers regis­ter for 10 years.

A spokesman for NSPCC Scot­land said Aitken’s ac­tions had only served to en­cour­age the abuse of chil­dren.

He said: “The pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion of in­de­cent images of chil­dren is a global crim­i­nal in­dus­try which must be stopped.

“Be­hind ev­ery im­age is a real child suf­fer­ing ap­palling abuse and through pos­sess­ing these images, Aitken has only fu­elled the de­mand for this sick­en­ing ma­te­rial to be pro­duced.

“NSPCC Scot­land works in schools and in the com­mu­nity to pre­vent abuse and is cam­paign­ing for in­ter­net com­pa­nies to do far more to pre­vent vile abuse images from be­ing pro­duced in the first place.”

Any adult con­cerned about the wel­fare of a child can call the NSPCC helpline free on 0808 800 5000, while chil­dren can call Child­line on 0800 1111.

SHAMED: David Aitken is led away from Aberdeen Sher­iff Court to be­gin his 18-month prison sen­tence

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.