A man caught with a massive haul of child abuse images that a sheriff described as “the most appalling material I have ever encountered” has been spared jail.
Jeffrey Underwood amassed more than 20,000 still images and videos depicting horrific sexual abuse of children as young as three and of women carrying out sex acts on animals
After Underwood admitted the charges in July, Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “What is described is some of the most appalling material I have ever encountered.”
However the sheriff spared Underwood jail, sentencing him instead to a community payback order with three years supervision and an order to take part in a sex offenders groupwork programme.
Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court that officers raided Underwood’s flat in October last year and seized a laptop, an external hard drive, USB stick and a tablet.
In total 19,917 still images and nine videos of indecent images of children were found, along with 1,183 extreme pornography images and one video.
The fiscal said: “He appears to have been actively carrying out searches for children, particularly young children.”
Underwood, 48, of Bonnethill Court, Dundee, pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children between March 2014 and October 2017 and possessing extreme pornography between April 4 2016 and October 13 2017.
Solicitor Paul Parker Smith said Underwood was a “lonely and isolated” man who had “never been in trouble before, but now he finds himself charged with two very serious offences”.
Sheriff Brown told Underwood: “If you look at this stuff again, if you have anything to do with it, you are going to end up in prison.”
Underwood was also placed on the sex offenders register for three years.