A paedophile was allowed to continue playing computer games by a sheriff after admitting possessing indecent images of children and breaching his bail conditions.
Martin Florence, 44, was told by Sheriff Alastair Carmichael he could continue to play “Heroes of Heartland” and poker online despite being placed on a Sex Offender Prevention Order, which prohibits the accused from owning or using computer equipment or downloading applications without the prior permission of supervising officers.
Addressing the sheriff from the dock during his case, Florence told the sheriff he gets anxious and needed to play the games to remain calm.
The sheriff said he would allow him to carry on playing the two games only but he must comply with the order he was placing him on in terms of any other software.
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The court heard police went to his home after receiving information that indecent images had been downloaded to a computer at the premises.
Two devices were seized and on forensic examination they were found to contain a total of 341 images and five videos of children between the ages of six and 14.
Florence, who was employed as a taxi driver in Forfar at the time, had downloaded the software Bit Torrent, containing titles such as jailbait.candid.little.girls.pics and underwear cuties 2009, and cute schoolgirl June 2009 featuring 66 photographs of under-18 nude girls.
Florence admitted that between August 4 2016, and December 5 2018, at an address in Westfield, Kirriemuir, he took or permitted to be taken indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children.
He further admitted breaching a bail condition between December 7, 2018 and December 11, 2018, at the same address, by possessing an Amazon Fire tablet computer without advising the police.
Sheriff Carmichael told Florence: “These were serious offences but the number of images was not high fortunately.
“It is in the zone of a custodial sentence but I am satisfied I can go down a non-custodial disposal route.”
He said he would also take into account the terms of the psychiatric and social work reports and placed Florence on a community payback order under supervision for three years with the programme requirement to take part in the Moving Foward Making Changes programme and a drug treatment order.
He also imposed a conduct requirement covering the usage of computer equipment and software, telling him he must seek the prior permission from supervising officers before owning or downloading devices and software.
He warned Florence, “This is a direct alternative to prison.”