Forth man caught with child porn is remanded in custody

Lanark Sheriff Court
Lanark Sheriff Court

A father of three was remanded in custody again at Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday after he admitted possessing child pornography.

Some of the file names found on his devices were indicative of children being abused, the court heard.

Paul Robertson, 49, appeared on indictment and admitted that, between November 2005 and April 2015, he made photos or pseudo-photos of children and that he had in his possession indecent photos or pseudo photos of children.

He also admitted failing to appear at Lanark Sheriff Court on March 8 last year.

As a result of that, a warrant was issued for his arrest, and when he appeared from custody in February this year, bail was refused.

Robertson had no previous convictions, the court heard.

Depute fiscal Ziad Hassan said that in April 2015, after receiving information that a device registered to Robertson’s home in Forth had been used to download indecent images of children, police had gone there with a search warrant at 7am one day.

There was no one in, but the door was unlocked, and the officers, some from the cybercrime unit, found a hard drive and a Dell laptop in its living room with indecent images of children on.

Officers discovered that Robertson was employed by BT, and he was contacted through his work.

After returning home at the request of the officers searching the property, he confirmed the hard drive and laptop were his.

“The cybercrime officers confirmed the presence of some 350 videos containing indecent images of children,” Mr Hassan told the court.

Robertson, a father of three children, was the sole user of the computer, he said.

“His wife did not access the computer and had no knowledge of indecent images of children being downloaded,” added Mr Hassan.

An examination of the computer found a total of 377 still and moving indecent images, and its search history revealed that categories Robertson had looked for included Lolitas and PTHC, short for pre-teen hard core.

Mr Hassan said that the search terms were indicative of child abuse, one relating to a girl of four and one to an eight-year-old, with others involving babies.

File names indicative of child abuse were recovered from the hard drive.

Sentence was deferred for reports, but Robertson was warned that he would be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Solicitor Paul Murray told the court that Robertson had told him, and the police, that he himself had suffered sexual abuse after joining the Army at the age of 15.