Local soldier who downloaded haul of sick child abuse images avoids jail

Fraser Waddell

A soldier who downloaded a stash of sick child abuse images at a local army base – then threatened to kill cops who seized his computer equipment – was today spared jail.

Fraser Waddell – who served as a private in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards – was arrested after police swooped on his room at the Leuchars Station base in north-east Fife.

Waddell last year avoided a jail term over a bizarre incident in which he pulled over two women on a motorway at 2.30am and pretended to be a police officer wearing body armour and a peaked cap.

And he was spared prison again today over the indecent image haul – instead being given a community payback order and placed on the sex offenders register.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told some of the images found were at the top end of the scale used to measure such pictures.

A month after the raid Waddell phoned Police Scotland Tayside Division’s Dundee HQ threatening to seek out a specific officer and to kill him and others.

Fiscal depute Sue Ruta told the court: “He was asked to provide the PIN for his phone but said it wasn’t his.

“It was found to belong to his ex-partner who said she had given it to him.

“Upon examination it was found to contain 21 indecent images of children in the cache of the Google Chrome browser.

“Search terms indicated he had actively sought them out.”

Waddell, 21, of Macmillan Street, Larkhall, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of taking or making indecent images of children on May 24 last year.

He was on two separate bail orders at the time.

His not guilty plea to possessing extreme porn images was accepted by prosecutors.

Defence solicitor Paul Parker Smith said: “He left the army on June 2 2017.

“He has been frank with social workers and has been open and honest about his sexual tendencies and habits.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order with 150 hours unpaid work, two years supervision and conduct requirements around his use of the internet.

He said: “Every one of these images represents the real abuse of a real child and by providing an audience you encourage such conduct.

“If you make excuses for yourself and indulge any sexual interest in children it will only lead you in to more trouble.”

Waddell was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years.

In January 2017 Waddell was sentenced to 120 hours unpaid work and a year’s supervision over his threats against police.

Waddell called the Dundee HQ and demanded the return of his computer equipment taken in the raid on his army barracks room then shouted he was going to “start killing officers” when they refused.

And last March – just weeks before his child abuse images arrest – Waddell was fined £1,000 over his fake policeman stunt.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard he followed the friends along the M74 after they left a McDonald’s in the Lanarkshire town.

He then pulled them over on the hard shoulder and approached their car, wearing body armour and a peaked cap.

Waddell told off the driver for using her fog lights and claimed he could take away her licence.

She said she was sorry and he gave her a warning but she and her friend were alarmed by Waddell’s behaviour. He didn’t show them ID and his green body armour wasn’t police issue.

The women called the real police after the incident last July and gave them part of the registration of the white Ford Fiesta Waddell was driving.

Officers traced the car and Waddell later gave himself up.

He admitted impersonating a police constable with intent to deceive.

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