August 2018

North-east man with stash of 576 photos of boys spared jail

A north-east man found with a stash of indecent images of boys, as well as adult-sized school uniforms and a room in his house decorated like a 1960s classroom, has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Police searched Philip Ritchie’s home during an operation and seized a laptop that contained 576 indecent images of children. Many of the photographs on the 58-year-old’s computer showed boys posing in swimming trunks.

Officers who searched Ritchie’s home in Banff also uncovered school uniforms in adult sizes and three rooms, one decorated to look like a 1960s classroom, another like a toy room and another like a 1950s boy’s room. Around 560 of the images were classed as category C – the least severe in the scale.

Ritchie, who appeared at a Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, previously pled guilty to taking, permitting to be taken or making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children between November 4 2016 and June 20 2017.

The court previously heard Ritchie told police it was his “lifestyle”.

Defence agent Stuart Beveridge handed over references on behalf of his client as well as a letter from Ritchie to Sheriff Jack Brown.

Sheriff Brown told Ritchie: “It’s not your lifestyle that brings you before the court.”

Ritchie, whose address was given in court papers as High Street, Banff, was ordered to carry out 190 hours of unpaid work within nine months.

He will also be under supervision for three years with a requirement that he undertakes the Moving Forward Making Changes Programme. Ritchie will also be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.

July 2018

North-east man caught with 576 indecent images of boys

A north-east man found with a stash of indecent images of boys also had adult-sized school uniforms – and a room in his house decorated like a 1960s classroom.

Police searched Philip Ritchie’s home during an operation and seized a Dell laptop that contained 576 indecent images of children.

Many of the photographs on the 57-year-old’s computer showed boys posing in swimming trunks.

And officers who searched Ritchie’s home in Banff also uncovered school uniforms in adult sizes and three rooms, one decorated to look like a 1960s classroom, another a toy room and another a 1950s boy’s room.

Yesterday at Aberdeen Sheriff Court fiscal depute Stephanie Ross said: “Officers attended to execute the warrant and were allowed entry by the accused and he was cautioned and detained.

“A search was conducted and various devices recovered.

“A Dell laptop was found to contain images of young boys posing in swimming trunks.

“One of the bedrooms was decorated to look like a 1950s boy’s room.”

She added Ritchie told police outside of interview that it was his “lifestyle”.

Ms Ross told the court: “The accused receives botox and waxes to look young.”

The court heard a total of 576 indecent images of children were found, around 560 of which were classed as category C.

Ritchie pled guilty to taking, permitting to be taken or making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children between November 4 2016 and June 20 2017.

Defence agent Graham Morrison, representing Ritchie, did not offer any mitigation at this stage in proceedings and asked for sentence to be deferred for reports.

Sheriff Jack Brown deferred sentence on Ritchie, whose address was given in court papers as High Street, Banff, until next month for a criminal justice social work report to be prepared.