August 2016

Convicted paedophile jailed for 18 months


A man who downloaded a stash of indecent child images has been jailed for 18 months.

William Franks, 51, who has previous convictions for similar offences, was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

He will now be supervised for two years on his release.

The court was told that Franks believed he had been “born with a condition”.

He had previously appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where he admitted taking or permitting to be taken and making indecent photographs or pseudo photos of children.

The offence took place between May 1 and July 6, 2015.

Franks, who is currently subject to the notification requirements of the sex offenders act, had 912 images that he had downloaded as well as 35 videos.

Defence for Franks, Ian Hingston said: “What can be said is two stark things, one the analogous matters and two the significant gap in offending. There are considerable periods where he manages to cope – throwing himself into work or relationships with friends.

“When, for whatever reason, these supports go he becomes isolated, lonely and he reverts to, by his own admission, type.”

He said that his client had previously taken part in a version of the Moving Forward Making Changes programme after his last conviction.

Mr Hingston went on to say: “He is someone who is clearly intelligent, clearly has the capacity to hold employment.

“It’s frustrating to him that these feelings are within him and he has at times not been able to avoid acting on them.”

And he said Franks believed he had “effectively been born with a condition”.

He said: “That is his belief. He feels strongly that if society has means of controlling that, be that through more education or psychological help, that’s what he would wish to do.”

Franks, whose address was given in court papers as 21 Pentland Road, Aberdeen, was jailed for 18 months by Sheriff William Summers.

June 2016

A serial child sex offender has been warned he faces jail after admitting downloading hundreds of indecent images of youngsters – for a second time.

William Franks was put on probation in 2007 after he was convicted of possessing child porn.

The 51-year-old was also made subject to a sexual offences prevention order which prohibited him from entering internet cafes, community centres or libraries.

But yesterday the repeat offender, who has another similar conviction from 2005, admitted “making” almost 1,000 indecent images of children and almost eight hours of illicit video footage.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that officers confiscated three electronic devices from his home at Pentland Road in the city.

Computer experts discovered 903 indecent images of children on them.

Of those, 103 pictures were classed as being at level A – the highest and most serious end of the scale. Another 163 images were classed as level B and 637 at level C.

There were also 35 videos of children being abused, with 22 of them being classed as level A. Three were deemed to be at level B and four at level C.

Fiscal depute Anne MacDonald said the videos had a total run time of seven hours, 57 minutes and 26 seconds.

Miss MacDonald said that the charge Franks had admitted involved the making of the illicit pictures.

She said this was by downloading them on to two of his devices from the internet.

The court heard a tablet computer was also seized by officers.

Miss MacDonald said that although no indecent images were discovered on it, police found internet searches which were seen to be related to child sexual abuse

Representing the repeat offender yesterday, solicitor Graeme Murray urged Sheriff William Summers to defer sentence on Franks until background reports had been carried out.

He said he did not normally act as his lawyer but was merely filling in for his regular solicitor who would be more appropriately placed to deliver mitigation on his behalf.

Sheriff Summers said that, given his list of previous convictions, he did not see any alternative to a custodial sentence.

However, he agreed to the matter being deferred for Franks’s usual legal representation to be present.

He will return to court in August.