Tobermory resident jailed in ‘horrifying’ child porn case

Want to read more?

We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Oban Times – subscribe today for as little as 56 pence per week.

Already a subscriber?

 

Subscribe Now

A man living on Mull has been jailed for a year for possessing indecent images of children and sending ‘horrifying and obscene’ messages.

Earlier in April, Douglas Wright, 38, of 17 Druimfin Gardens, Tobermory, pleaded guilty to two charges of taking or permitting to be taken or making the indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs, and of possessing them.

Wright also admitted a third charge of sending a message of ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’.

Wright’s sentence was deferred for reports until Tuesday May 22, when his defence agent Murray Macara told Oban Sheriff Court there was a strong case to impose a community payback order, rather than a custodial sentence, on the first-time offender.

Mr Macara said: ‘Living in a small community has left him increasingly socially isolated. That might be an explanation why he spent a lot of time on the internet viewing pornography.’

He said Wright had obtained ‘specialist computer software’ to allow him access to the dark web, and not specifically for accessing child pornography.

‘His interest and use of pornography coincided with the onset of anxiety and depression,’ he added: ‘Viewing pornography, in his mind, helped him make up for a lack of serotonin – almost a rush of adrenalin to make him less depressed.’

Mr Macara told the court more than 100 images were found, including 51 in the most serious category A, but ‘in the grand scheme of things the number of images is at the lower end of the spectrum.

Of the message, Mr Macara said: ‘This conversation, to put it mildly, is grossly obscene and disturbing. The content of this conversation does not represent his beliefs or wishes. It was role-playing, fantasy. He now accepts this [person] was fictitious.

‘He does possess a degree of victim empathy and concern for his own situation,’ he said. ‘He worked for the local authority for four or five years. He has lost his job as a result of this conviction.

‘Mr Wright’s plan was to move away from Mull. In a small community, as Tobermory is, he feels he has no future.’

Sheriff Patrick Hughes said children all over the world are being subjected to cruelty to create such images and anyone who chooses to be part of the audience shares responsibility. He continued: ‘The court has a duty to take firm action. Any sentence must not only punish you, but also deter others on your path.’

Sheriff Hughes imprisoned Wright for 12 months for the first two charges, and for four months concurrently for writing the messages, which he said ‘are the most horrifying and obscene things I have seen in my life’.

He also placed Wright on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and imposed a sexual offences prevention order for six years, prohibiting him from using electronic devices without registering them with police.