Paedophile jailed for trawling ‘dark websites’ to share violent images with others
An already convicted paedophile who trawled ‘Dark Web’ sites to gather a stash of “violent” child sexual abuse images before sharing them with hundreds of other paedophiles online was today jailed for three years.
Craig Robertson was at the time under a strict court order that was supposed to prevent him carrying out any further sexual offences after he was jailed in 2010 for an almost identical offence.
But despite that he logged on to a hidden Russian website and downloaded hundreds of images and videos of children that were ranked at the top level of seriousness by police experts.
He then used an instant messaging service to contact other paedophiles and send the pictures on to them.
But despite that Robertson told police: “I would never harm a child.”
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “He said he had used a mobile phone to find images on a dark web site based in Russia.
“He would then use this messaging app to connect with other users and send the images to them.
“He admited being attracted to children. “In total there were 278 videos featuring children.
“There were 229 of them at category A – showing children being raped & tortured.
“There were a further 457 still images, 217 at category A.”
Robertson, 32, of Main Street, Leuchars, pleaded guilty on indictment to downloading and distributing indecent images of children at his home between June 14 and August 12 last year.
Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Robertson for three years and placed him on the sex offenders register for life.
In 2010 Robertson – then known as Craig Bence – was jailed for 10 months at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court for an almost identical crime.
Police who visited his home on an unrelated matter found more than 2000 twisted images on his computer.
Officers then found other titles suggesting the images were of an indecent nature.
The computer was seized and sent to the then Fife Constabulary’s computer crime unit for further examination.
They found 1705 indecent images – including some at level five of the Copine Scale then used to measure the severity of such pictures.
Child sexual abuse images pervert admits offences
A 32-year-old man was caught with 452 still images of child sexual abuse and 278 videos — the majority of which were the most severe as categorised by police.
Craig Bence, also known as Craig Robertson, of Main Street, Leuchars, had sentence deferred at Dundee Sheriff Court.
Bence admitted a charge of taking, allowing to being taken or making indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children, and a second charge of sharing or distributing indecent photographs or pseudo photographs, both between June 14 and August 12 last year, at his home address.
The court heard it was not the first time Bence had committed an offence of this nature, having served a prison sentence for a similar crime.
Solicitor Anika Jethwa, defending, said: “He has attended a rehabilitation course. He was taking a lot of cannabis at the time and suffering from mental health issues.
“He was in contact with other people with a similar interest and had file sharing software on his computer, which is how the charge of sharing or distributing came about.”
Sentence was deferred until July 25 for a Crown narration.
Sheriff Alastair Brown said: “Every one of these images represents the actual abuse of a real child. By providing an audience for them you encourage that abuse and by distributing them you make it worse.”