Businessman became ‘obsessed’ with child abuse after sauna visit

Published July 16, 2013 by JS2

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A businessman who hoarded thousands of child abuse images and filmed a 13-year-old girl changing her clothes has been jailed for more than three years.

Graham Macfarlane was snared after police intercepted an online conversation about sharing the images with a man in Canada. Officers then raided his house, where they found more than 4600 child abuse pictures and 759 videos.

They also discovered a video showing a young girl changing, which Macfarlane admitted he had made by hiding his mobile phone in his trouser pockets before hanging them up with the phone poking out and the video camera switched on.

The 57-year-old, who ran a building maintenance firm before his arrest, told detectives he had become “obsessed” with viewing images of child abuse after being introduced to them by clients at an Edinburgh sauna.

A court heard that Macfarlane shared the images and videos with people online, on some occasions while his young granddaughter was present.

Sheriff George Way imposed a five-year and four month extended sentence on Macfarlane, meaning he will spend two years on licence when he is released from the 40-month jail term.

The sheriff also noted his “disappointment” that Macfarlane had complained about the “poor quality” of the video he took of the young girl rather than showing any empathy for the damage caused to her.

He said: “The content of the images was totally disgusting and I won’t even attempt to describe it in detail, but it showed extremely young girls in scenes of rape and bondage.

“You went to great planning to avoid detection, and only a custodial sentence will mark the court’s efforts to denounce this vile trade.”

Fiscal depute Isma Mukhtar told Dundee Sheriff Court that 67 of the still images and 25 of the videos found on Macfarlane’s computers were at the top end of the scale used to measure their severity.

Macfarlane, of Seagate, Dundee, admitted to three charges of downloading and distributing indecent images of children and that on January 13 2012 he recorded a girl under the age of 16 removing her clothing with the intent of him or others viewing the image.

Rosemary Scott, defending, said: “He hadn’t thought through the seriousness of this, but now he’s fully aware of it.”

 

STV News

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