April 2018

North-east man who was caught with indecent images of children spared jail

A north-east man who posed as a young girl in online chatrooms and was caught with indecent images of children had been spared jail.

Married man Neil Abel’s family had no idea of his second life as “TeenClaire” until police arrived at his home on Tornasheen Gardens in Dyce in November 2016.

Officers had received intelligence that a device there was being used to upload indecent images of children.

The 56-year-old told police he knew why they were there and said he was the only person responsible for what was on the computers.

He was found to have viewed pornography sites and accessed images of children as young as 10.

As well as this, he received images of children as young as 14 from people in an online chatroom on which he posed as a teenage girl.

Abel confessed to making indecent photos of children at his home on various occasions between April 2013 and October 2016 during an appearance at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month and returned there to be sentenced yesterday.

The court heard 100 images had been found on laptop and desktop computers.

Representing Abel, defence agent John Mcleod asked for his client to be spared jail.

He said: “It seems to me there is a viable alternative to a prison sentence.”

He said his client had already lost his job as a result of the offences.

Sheriff William Summers told Abel: “It is not a victimless crime as any child depicted in such images is a victim of abuse and in some cases horrific abuse.”

“It is a matter of concern that the libel concerns a period of more than three years and it is a matter of concern that you appear to have sought material out.

He added: “The number of images is, however, at the lower end and only two of those are of the more serious category.

“I am satisfied there is an alternative to a custodial sentence.”

He ordered Abel to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work, placed him on the sex offenders register for three years and ordered him to participate in the Moving Forward Making Changes programme.