Aitken’ s bakery boss jailed
Head of firm gets 18 months for indecent images
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