September 2017

Scottish schoolboy caught downloading child sexual abuse images by the FBI

A schoolboy in Scotland was caught downloading child sexual abuse images by FBI agents in the US, a court heard.

William Stewart, who was 17 when he was arrested on suspicion of downloading 3,300 obscene images.

The FBI tipped off Police Scotland, who raided the caravan where he lived in with his family at Double Dykes caravan park, Ruthvenfield, Perthshire on 27 August 2015.

Stewart had been downloading hundreds of sick images and videos of babies and children being sexually assaulted, Perth Sheriff Court was told Police received intelligence from the Department of Justice and the FBI that an account registered to Stewart had been accessing indecent images.

Stewart, now 19, admitted being in possession of indecent images of children at his home between November 23 2014 and August 27 2015.

The court was told officers seized devices including a Blackberry and storage card, an iPhone and an iPad during the search.

Almost 100 images were discovered on the card, depicting children as young as three.

A far greater number of images were contained in a sick Dropbox account to which only Stewart had access.

Further inquiries with the FBI and US Department of Justice revealed they had a copy of the Dropbox contents.

Investigators uncovered a further 3,292 indecent images of children and 292 videos containing moving images of babies and young children being abused.

Of the images and video found, some 535 pictures and 157 video clips were assessed as category A – the most serious.

Depute fiscal Tina Dickie told the court: ‘The accused was 17 at the time and was a school pupil with no previous convictions.

‘He lived at the Double Dykes caravan park in a three-bed static caravan which he shared with his family.

‘The police received intelligence from international law enforcement agencies that an account registered to the accused had been accessing indecent images of children from the internet and world wide web.

‘A warrant was executed and a number of devices recovered. International letters of request to the USA allowed recovery of a DVD containing details of the contents of the Dropbox account from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.’

The court was told Stewart had confessed to accessing indecent images and ‘specifically searching for indecent images of children’.

He was placed on the sex offenders register and sentencing was deferred sentence for social work reports.