A businessman caught with more than 900 indecent images of young boys has avoided a jail sentence.
Alasdair Chalmers, the retired chief of Dundee-based firm DP&L, was given a community service order of 250 hours of unpaid work when he appeared for sentence at Forfar.
It followed his unanimous conviction by a jury after a six-day trial at the court in April.
The 60-year-old, of West Steading, Mains of Gagie, Kellas, had denied an indictment containing two charges of possessing indecent images of children over a nine-year period from 2005 to last January.
Pictures of boys aged from eight to 15 were found on a mobile phone and computer equipment after police raided the businessman’s rural home.
The trial heard evidence of a banned Canadian website and Russian-based child images site were found on the equipment.
Some 97% of the images were inaccessible to normal users of the devices.
The bulk of the images were at the lowest end of the categorisation for such material.
They included pictures of boys in underwear and naturist-type poses.
Chalmers, who served as a lay member and finance convener for Dundee College, previously had sentence deferred for criminal justice reports to be prepared.
On Monday, defence solicitor Ian Flynn said: “The report before the court is quite full and suggests that the outcome should be a community-based disposal.
“He is 60 years old, this is his first offence of any kind and his entire life he has been a hard-working businessman.
“He hopes to continue in business doing other things should he be at liberty.”
Chalmers retired from the DP&L Group last year, ending an 80-year family connection to the business.
He had succeeded his father as managing director of the business in 1987.
Sheriff Simon Collins said the majority of the images were at the lowest level of classification and sentencing guidelines indicated that the start point for such an offence should be a community-based disposal.
“I can see no good reason to take a different view,” said the sheriff.
Chalmers must complete the 250 hours of unpaid work within a year, and will be placed on the sex offenders register for the same period.
His name has also been added to a Scottish ministers’ list banning him from working with children.
The sheriff added: “If you fail to comply with the order you will be brought back to court and the likelihood is that you would be sent to prison.”