Thousands of indecent images found on man’s phone

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An Oban man who admitted possessing thousands of indecent images of children has been sentenced to a community payback order.

Kevin Raymond Hobbs, of 11 Croft Avenue, Oban, first pleaded guilty when he appeared before Oban Sheriff  Court in October but returned last week for sentencing.

Sheriff Patrick Hughes sentenced him to two years’ supervision under social workers and to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work within 12 months. He was also put on a restriction of liberty order to stay at home between 7pm and 7am for four months, was made subject of a sexual offences prevention order to last five years as well as going on the sexual offenders’ register for two years.

In October, the court heard the  31-year-old’s phone had contained 4,297 indecent images, all of which were classed as Category C, the least severe, and were predominantly of female children between the ages of nine and 15.

In his defence, solicitor Kevin McGinness said at the time of the offence his client had been drinking after work cutting grass and building a new hotel in the town’s harbour area dried up and alcohol had been a major factor. Hobbs has since sought help.

Police unearthed the indecent images when they searched his home on January 31, 2019, and seized a number of devices, in particular a Samsung mobile phone found in his bedroom.

Sheriff Hughes said the ‘sheer number of images’ found on Hobbs’s phone was ‘a great concern’ but pointed out they were at the lowest level of seriousness and, after considering reports, added: ‘There’s nothing to suggest it is an ongoing issue with you.’