A paedophile who claimed he “couldn’t really tell” how old the children in the horror cache of child abuse images he had downloaded were because “they were Japanese” has dodged jail.
Brian Jacobi then admitted one of the girls appeared to be only around 12 years old – but then claimed he had only downloaded the stash to “test his libido”.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard Jacobi had installed sophisticated file cleaning software on his computer to cover his tracks.
But despite that police still found a total of 143 indecent images of children and eight sick videos of kids on his computers.
Jacobi later explained to police that the children in the images “were Japanese and he couldn’t really tell what ages they were”.
A sheriff told him his explanation was “unconvincing and offensive” – but spared him a prison sentence.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robetson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “Police acting on intelligence executed a search warrant at the accused’s address on May 16.
“A preview examination of his computer revealed indecent images and he was arrested.
“He was interviewed later and said he had been viewing porn online and admitted there may be images of children aged 13 to 16 on his computers.
“But he said ‘they were Japanese and he couldn’t really tell what ages they were’.
“He said he had done it to test his libido and that there was no way he would go with a child.
“On the computers there was software found that is used for deleting browsing history and sensitive data.
“The police experts state he appears to be knowledgeable and proficient with file cleaning software for hiding his online activity.”
Jacobi, 68, of Wishart Place, Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to taking or making indecent images of children between January 5 2016 and March 26 2018 at his home.
Defence solicitor Kevin Hampton said Jacobi had health difficulties but would be able to carry out unpaid work as part of a community payback order if he was spared a prison sentence.
Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order with 225 hours unpaid work, three years supervision and an order to carry out a sex offenders treatment programme.
Jacobi was also placed on the sex offenders register for five years.
The sheriff said: “Every one of these images represents the actual abuse of a real child and by providing an audience for it you help to perpetuate the problem.
“That having been said, you have never been in any kind of trouble before and the number of images, as these cases go, is quite low.
“For those reasons I’m prepared to treat this as an exception to the general rule which would be that those who commit thee offences go to prison.
“The explanation you gave to the police is unconvincing and to the extent you made remarks about a particular race it’s offensive and leads me to think that you are not properly accepting responsibility for what you did.”