Neighbours of a Fife paedophile wrote a letter to a sheriff to express their concerns about him living in their community
Nicholas Denison,61, used the social media network Kik to send vile images, along with pornographic videos, to accounts he believed were being used by children.
However the accounts were actually decoys being run by police officers.
Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard when Denison’s offending came to light, his neighbours wrote directly to Sheriff Charles Macnair.
They said they feel unable to allow their children to play freely in their cul-de-sac in light of his offences.
Despite their two-page missive, Sheriff Macnair declined to impose a custodial sentence.
He said he was able to impose a longer supervision period on Denison than if he had jailed him.
Neighbours write letter
Denison’s defence agent Mark Harrower said his client had become reclusive since his last court appearance.
He said: “He’s only been out of the house six times to walk the dog.
“Nobody has come to his house but some eggs were thrown.
“Mrs Denison was confronted by someone but that was some weeks ago.
“My Lord may have concerns about the address but he has nowhere else to go. He has lived there for 12 years.
“There’s nothing in the report that suggests he is a risk to children walking past his house or playing in the street.”
He continued: “There’s never been any concerns raised before now about his real life conduct.
“Whilst he has committed a very serious offence and I have no doubt Mr Denison’s neighbours would rather he was not living there, he’s not at any risk of contact offending.”
Stress of home working blamed
He said Denison had accepted it would be “nigh on impossible” to stay at the address long-term and is looking to move.
He said Denison blamed his actions on the stress of working from home.
“He’s old enough to know it was wrong and accepts that’s the case,” Mr Harrower said.
“These offences were committed under extreme stress working from home from a box room and not taking time to think.
“Appearing here (in court) shows just how far off the mark he was.”
Sheriff Macnair said while the offence met the threshold for a custodial sentence, it would be less substantial than the ones available if Denison had appeared before a jury.
He noted Denison would be under supervision for a longer period if he imposed a “high level” community disposal.
He said: “You committed these offences over a significant period of weeks.
“You thought you were contacting young girls. In fact, happily, you were in contact with police officers.
“Although you say it was not your intention to have contact this sort of offending often does lead to contact and is typical grooming behaviour.
“I have seen the letter from neighbours and can well understand their concerns at living in the same cul-de-sac as someone who commits these types of offences.
“Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about that.
“Any custodial sentence I could impose would be very lenient and would not result in adequate punishment or protection to the public.”
He was also placed on an overnight curfew for a period of four months and made subject of conditions, including that he must have no contact with anyone under the age of 16 without prior approval.
He was placed on the sex offenders register.
Police decoy accounts
The court had previously heard the pervert believed he had sent 11 graphic photographs and videos to an account belonging to a 13-year-old.
He also sent “numerous” indecent photographs to another account, purportedly belonging to a 12-year-old.
He had sent the images under the username “Jaww Blowws”.
Police swooped on his address, at which point Denison confessed all.
Last month he admitted sending explicit material to a people he believed to be 12 and 13-year-olds in January and February.