Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free.
To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic. The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thank you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time.
We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device. In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.
Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).
A 60-year-old bachelor who was snared by paedophile hunters after he sent sexual communications to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl has been punished by unpaid community work.
Inverness Sheriff Court was told last Thursday, October 14, that Arthur Laurie had become a virtual recluse in his remote community of Lochaline because of the reaction of locals to his crime.
Defence solicitor advocate Mike Chapman said his client lived with his doors and windows locked with curtains drawn to avoid the public gaze.
Mr Chapman successfully persuaded Sheriff Margaret Neilson not to jail Laurie, saying: ‘He has experienced considerable hostility in the small community he lives and has been advised by police to stay at home.
‘He suffered a challenging childhood, having cognitive difficulties and has never had an intimate relationship. He is thoroughly ashamed of what he has done and recognises it was a serious offence. He is assessed by an experienced social worker as being of low risk of reoffending.’
Laurie was ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and will be monitored by social workers for three years, with the same period on the Sex Offender’s Register.
An earlier court hearing was told the teenage girl with whom he thought he was communicating was in fact a 44-year-old woman. She was using the name Angel Dev and was a member of the online vigilante group Decoy North.
Laurie admitted communicating with the woman from May 14, 2018 to July 22, 2018.
Fiscal depute Robert Weir said that after a period of general conversation when he admitted he was 58 and the woman indicated that she was just a teenager, it became sexualised.
‘Members of the organisation confronted him about his indecent communications, and Police Scotland were informed simultaneously,’ Mr Weir said.