A Dundee man who stashed child abuse material under his bed and told police “it’s a disease and I’m fighting it” has avoided a jail term.
Cameron Fenwick, of North Street, previously admitted having indecent images of children over a four-year period.
The 47-year-old was sentenced to a three-year supervision order, 140 hours of unpaid work and ordered to take part in a sex offender rehabilitation programme.
He was also ordered not to access the internet without prior approval and placed on the sex offenders register for three years.
The court heard he had 25 images and 72 videos of child abuse, totalling 10 hours and 23 minutes.
Five of the images and 32 of the videos found on Fenwick’s laptop were classed as the most serious, category A.
A further nine images and 15 videos were classed as category B.
Male and female children ranging in ages from pre-school to mid-teens were depicted in the footage, which was discovered after officers raided Fenwick’s former home address.
Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson told a previous hearing at Dundee Sheriff Court: “He stated, ‘It was me, I looked at the indecent images. It’s a disease and I’m fighting it.’
“Whilst the officers were searching his bedroom, the accused further stated ‘The laptop you’re after is under the bed. Everything you want is on there.’
“A number of items were seized from that address, including a laptop found in the accused’s bedroom.”
After being taken to police headquarters, Fenwick told officers: “I don’t get any sexual gratification from it. It’s not like I’m hurting anyone.”
Scott Norrie, defending, said a social work report described Fenwick as an “introverted character” who had “difficulty engaging with others”.
Mr Norrie said: “He is a man who has taken this on board. He has a strong work ethic and he is suitable for a direct alternative to custody.”
Fenwick previously admitted having indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children between December 8 2010 and December 3 2014, at a property in St Columba Gardens.
He further admitted taking or permitting to be taken or making indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children, between the same dates and at the same location.
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael told Fenwick: “You have pled guilty to a particularly serious offence.
“But in view of the relatively small number of images, the fact you are a first-time offender and your suitability for the Moving Forward, Making Changes programme I can take the line of a community-based disposal.
“If you make a mess of this order, you will come back before me and there is a high chance you will receive a custodial sentence.”