A once-respected planning expert has been convicted of possessing indecent images of children for a second time.
Blair Melville, of Kinross, has been assessed as “high risk” of further sexual offending and of posing a “medium risk” to the public.
The assessment of his threat was made by the Tay Project, which works with sex offenders.
It recommended stringent conditions and restrictions – including limiting his computer use – be imposed to prevent him offending in the future.
The 62-year-old was caught with a single illicit image on his mobile telephone following an intelligence-led police operation in 2015.
As he appeared for sentencing at Perth Sheriff Court, it emerged he had committed a similar offence in 2009.
Melville claimed to have turned to illegal images of children in each case during difficult periods in his marriage, which has now ended.
The retiree was a member of the planning departments of Tayside Regional Council and Perth and Kinross Council.
He subsequently worked with Homes for Scotland, one of the country’s leading industry lobby groups.
He retired in 2016, a short time after his second offence came to light.
Depute Fiscal Tina Dickie told the court: “In 2015, intelligence was received by Police Scotland that a device located at the accused’s address had accessed an indecent image of a child.
“As a result, a search warrant was executed and that led to the recovery.and examination of a mobile phone belonging to the accused.
“It was found to contain one category C image.”
Melville, of Gallowhill, Kinross, subsequently admitted making an indecent image of a child at his home on May 9, 2015.
Solicitor Sarah Meehan said her client had been highly regarded in both his professional and private lives and that the offences appeared at odds with that.
“He accepts that he appears on a serious charge,” she said.
“Difficulties in his marriage led to these offences. He would accept that he needs further support to ensure he does not re-offend.
Sheriff Gillian Wade told Melville: “The terms of the Tay Project report are deeply concerning.
“They are that you are at very high risk of re-offending and at moderate risk of causing harm. Given the 2009 offence, the recidivism is also a concern.”
The sheriff said it was also “unusual” to see the Tay Project recommend such stringent conditions.
Melville was placed upon a three year community payback order as a direct alternative to imprisonment.
He will be under the supervision of social workers and has been ordered to undertake a group-work programme to address his offending behaviour.
Meville will be on the sex offenders register for three years.