Former north-east police officer spared jail over ‘sickening collection’ of indecent images of children
A disgraced ex-police officer who accumulated a “sickening collection” of indecent images of children has been spared jail.
Rikki Henderson was also convicted of taking and sharing a picture of a woman’s private parts.
A jury at Aberdeen Sheriff Court found him guilty of three charges following a trial in August.
During proceedings the court heard images of children as young as eight engaged in sadistic sexual activity were found in the “sent” folder of his Whatsapp account.
Of the nine found, seven were found in category C, the least serious, one was category B and another was A.
He had also been accused of two sexual assaults at the Army Cadet Force in Boddam, near Peterhead, but the jury found these charges not proven.
Henderson, of Bridge Street in Strichen, had denied any wrongdoing and returned to court yesterday to be sentenced.
Representing the 25-year-old, defence agent John MacLeod said his client had lost everything as a result of the offences.
He said the report suggested he “lacked emotional maturity” and he had “lost two careers”.
Sheriff William Summers said the woman who Henderson had taken a picture of had been forced to come to court as a result of his not guilty plea and she did so with “dignity” which was the “absolute opposite of how you conducted yourself”.
He added: “I recognise that your life has fallen apart in a very meaningful way. You are solely and entirely the author of that.”
He placed Henderson under supervision and on the sex offenders register for three years and ordered him to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work.
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Rikki Henderson, 25, also took a sneaky naked snap of his girlfriend after she stepped out of a hotel room shower and sent it to a pal.
The PC, and army cadet instructor, sobbed when he was found guilty by a jury following a trial in Aberdeen.
Sheriff William Summers told him: “These are very serious charges. I need to consider whether there is an alternative to a custodial sentence.”
Henderson, from Strichen, Aberdeenshire, served as an officer in nearby Fraserburgh and looked after kids as a 2nd Lieutenant in the cadets. It’s thought he started as a special constable before he became a PC.
He was suspended from both roles last year after detectives arrested him as he stepped off a plane at Edinburgh airport.
A forensic sweep of his Samsung Galaxy smartphone uncovered nine sick pictures of kids as young as eight.
Police cyber-crime expert Neil Adam, who found the images, said: “It shows a sadistic sexual act.”
Mr Adam said pictures were only accessible through his search and may have been automatically transferred through Henderson’s Whatsapp account.
Detectives also spotted the photo of the officer’s girlfriend, taken while the pair were on a break together and staying at Citizen M Hotel in Glasgow.
The court was told the victim, who can’t be named, had no idea he’d grabbed the snap, and sent it by Whatsapp messenger.
She told the trial that she only found out about it months later when detectives showed it to her.
She said: “I wouldn’t have consented to that. It’s very odd to act that way when you’re in a relationship with somebody.”
She said she felt “sick”, as well as “betrayed and upset”. The court was told they’re no longer a couple.
When asked about her in a police interview Henderson said: “She means the world to me. I’ve just put her through s**t and feel really bad.
“I’ve let her down. I’ve let my family down. I want to tell everything but I can’t.”
The jury decided two allegations of drunken sexual assaults in the officer’s mess at Boddam, Aberdeenshire were not proven.
They also cleared Henderson of another charge of taking or making indecent images of youngsters at his home in Strichen.
Henderson is now on the sex offender’s register and was suspended from the cadets and cops when he was first arrested.
It’s understood he quit as a cop over the past few days and will be kicked out by army top brass soon.
Police Scotland said they were unable to comment.