Evening Telegraph

Dundee pervert who admitted searching for ‘dodgy’ child abuse images spared prison term

A pervert found with a haul of indecent images has been spared a prison sentence.

Roderick Thomson accessed online interactive pornography games and searched for what he himself termed “dodgy” videos and images, Dundee Sheriff Court heard.

Police visited his home and recovered his laptop and a mobile phone, which together revealed more than 2,000 images and videos.

About 350 of the images found were of the most serious classification, Category A, the court was told.

Roderick Thomson

Thomson, 25, of Sandeman Street, admitted taking or permitting the taking or making indecent photographs of children at his home address between September 9 2015 and May 22 2017.

The accused’s solicitor Lee Qumsieh told the court Thomson was “socially isolated” and often spent long periods in his house accessing pornography.

The court was told Thomson had taken steps to turn his life around, had a part-time bar job with a supportive employer who had been informed of the conviction, and that his family, in particular his mother, remained supportive of him despite the offence.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael told Thomson that the offence was “very serious”, and a custodial sentence could be considered.

However, he instead enforced a community payback order as a direct alternative to prison.

Thomson was put under a supervision order for three years, and told he must attend the Making Changes, Moving Forward programme, run by the Tay Project. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in nine months, reduced from 200 hours due to his early plea.

Restrictions on his access to the internet and contact with people under 18 were also made.

Thomson’s non-custodial sentence comes as the Tele’s Our Kids Need Justice campaign calls for mandatory prison sentences for people convicted of child abuse.

Anti-child abuse campaigner Beth Morrison said that she was horrified to hear that Thomson had dodged a jail term.

Beth, whose eight-year campaign resulted in the Scottish Government producing new guidelines over the restraint of children, said: “What example are we setting to society when we allow these kinds of crimes to go basically unpunished?

“The punishment here does not fit the crime. It is absolutely ridiculous that he has not been sent to prison. Who is protecting our children?”