A Fife paedophile who claimed his obsession with teenage models was an “appreciation of beauty” has been placed under supervision.
Robert Ward told police he was not sexually attracted to children but became “infatuated” with one teenage model.
However, officers found hundreds of images on a laptop computer, half of which were still accessible.
Last month, Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard the 54-year-old broke down and told his partner: “I’ve been looking at things I shouldn’t have”.
The laptop was recovered from the bedroom used by a young girl staying at the address.
Strict rules for supervision
On Tuesday, Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist placed Ward under supervision for two years.
Having already been placed on the Sex Offenders Register, a further string of rules was fixed.
The sheriff said: “This is a serious case.”
He explained Ward is not allowed to have contact with children under 16 without approval from his supervising officer.
He must surrender to his supervisor or police any devices he owns which have internet access for inspection at any time.
Ward was also told he will have to live in accommodation which is approved by supervisors.
‘I’ve been looking at things I shouldn’t have’
At a previous court date, Depute fiscal Claire Bremner said: “At 8.10am officers executed a search warrant.
“The accused became upset and said: ‘I’m f***ing stupid, I’ve not downloaded anything but I’ve been looking at websites’.
“His wife asked why he was upset and he said: ‘I’ve been looking at things I shouldn’t have’.”
Ms Bremner said at this point officers recovered a laptop from the child’s room.
Ward also admitted to officers the girl had been allowed to use the laptop containing the vile images.
He said he had been searching for teenage models and admitted to using the Tor browser “two or three times a week” and had looked at a modelling website.
Ms Bremner continued: “He said he was infatuated with one model, who appeared to be between 14 and 16 years old.
“He said he knew they (the models) were children.
“He said he was not sexually attracted to children, it was more an appreciation of her beauty.”
She said an examination of the laptop found 1,033 images.
Of those, 533 were accessible to the user.
All of the images were Category C, and depicted females aged between six and 15.
Ward, of Alma Street, Inverkeithing, admitted making indecent photographs of children at an address in Crosshill between December 27 2019 and March 9 last year.
Ward’s solicitor Chris Sneddon said: “He has no previous offences.
“He acknowledges his offending.”