A repeat Angus sex offender has been warned jail is waiting if he makes one further step out of line.
Scott Bell was told he had been “burying his head in the sand” after Forfar Sheriff Court heard the 28-year-old had failed to attend events connected with the Community Payback Order (CPO) imposed on him earlier this year.
Bell, of Restenneth Drive, Forfar was originally been placed on a three-year supervision order after being caught with indecent images of children at an address in the Angus town between July and December 2016.
He was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for three years, but in March this year was back in the dock for what Sheriff Gregor Murray branded a “callous and blatant” breach of the CPO.
The previous order imposed strict controls on Bell possessing devices capable of accessing the internet and the court heard he had used a mobile phone to access the Snapchat social media app.
Bell had blamed the breach on loneliness, saying he had lost his friends and partner because of the conviction.
The sheriff said the case had presented considerable sentencing difficulties because the number of images Bell was caught with could only be dealt with by a short prison sentence which would not afford the public appropriate protection.
The images offence followed another matter a decade earlier when Bell was also made subject of notification requirements after admitting sending sexual messages to 13 and 14-year-olds.
In March, Sheriff Murray revoked the original CPO and imposed a new sentence requiring Bell to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Other conditions of the sentence included a ban on the accused having unsupervised contact or working with under-18s without prior approval, and restrictions on accessing the internet.
Bell returned to court for a review of the CPO but Sheriff Murray said an updated social work report into his compliance with the demands of the order did not make encouraging reading.
“At best, you have had what could be called a mixed start to this,” said the sheriff.
“At worst, in effect you are burying your head in the sand.
“I expect the next review of this Community Payback Order to be glowing.
“If it is not glowing, you will be going straight through that door to jail.”
Bell will return to court on September 26.