A child abuser was caught when police raided his home looking for depraved images, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.
Officers raided Douglas Latto’s home in search of child abuse images, but also found sick online sex chats in which he admitted an attack on a child.
His victim had kept quiet for more than five years and the court heard that the child might never have revealed the depraved incident had officers not found sickening chat logs on 25-year-old Latto’s computer.
Police raided Latto’s home near Baxter Park last November on suspicion that he was in possession of indecent images of children.
They found exactly that — but also an online confession by Latto of a sex act committed towards the child.
A sheriff told Latto, of Park Avenue, that his crime “put him in the realms” of a jail term, but opted to impose a community payback order instead.
Fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin told the city’s sheriff court that about 300 indecent images — 100 at each level of the three-tier scale used to assess such pictures — were found on Latto’s computer.
She said: “In the course of the investigation, they came across chat logs in which he stated he had abused the complainer in this charge. On one occasion when the child was alone with the accused, Latto committed a sex act.”
The child’s statement, which was read out in court, said that afterwards, it was like a “switch flicked” and conversation continued as normal.
Latto pleaded guilty on indictment to possessing indecent images of children between January 26 2010 and November 12 2016 and using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour towards a child at an address in north-east Fife between 2010 and 2011.
Defence solicitor Anika Jethwa said: “He has been assessed as suitable for a community payback order and would benefit greatly from this.
“He had taken steps prior to this case coming to court to get assistance and there is a report from the psychologist he’s been meeting with.
“He has a difficulty and he very much wishes help and assistance with that.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael imposed a community payback order with three years’ supervision, 120 hours of unpaid work and a requirement to take part in a sex offenders programme.