A ST ANDREWS paedophile has been spared jail after he downloaded nearly 400 child abuse images and nearly 800 beastiality pictures to his ex-wife’s computer.
Charles Aitkenhead split from wife Mhairi in 2007 – but they remained on good terms, with Aitkenhead regularly visiting her at her St Andrews home.
Charles Aitkenhead from Fife
But, unbeknownst to her, he secretly started downloading a horror cache of child abuse images as well as pictures of men and women having sex with animals on to her Macbook laptop.
In August last year police were tipped off that a computer at her address had indecent images of children on it – and they raided the property in September.
Mrs Aitkenhead – then the only resident of the house – was taken into police custody and interviewed under caution at Kirkcaldy police station as a result.
Fiscal depute Kirsten Letford told Dundee Sheriff Court: “She told police she had no knowledge of the indecent images and that her husband had free access to the laptop when he visited.
“The device was recovered and a preliminary examination revealed indecent images on it.
“She said they had separated in 2007 but remained on speaking terms and he had access to the Macbook.
“She denied having seen the images and was unaware of them.
“A search warrant was executed at the accused’s home and he was detained and taken to Kirkcaldy police station.
“He admitted viewing the images recovered and having searched for them on Google and clicked the link.”
The fiscal depute said nearly 400 child abuse images were deemed to be in the most severe category. A further 750 images came under categories B and C.
Shew added: “A further 778 still images and five videos were found of extreme pornography, depicting beastiality.
“They involved adult males and females having penetrative sex with a variety of species of animals.”
Aitkenhead, 58, of Innerbridge Street, Guardbridge, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to downloading and possessing indecent images of children between January 1 2012 and September 8 2016.
He further admitted possessing extreme pornography between December 8 2012 and September 1 2016.
Defence solicitor David Duncan said: “He is in employment – a voluntary position initially that has since been formalised – and they are fully aware of these proceedings.
“The reports recommend a community payback order and I’m confident that would be the best way of dealing with him.”
Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a community payback order with three years supervision, 200 hours unpaid work, a three year sex offenders groupwork programme and conditions around his contact with children and internet use.
She said: “I’m bound in terms of the guidence given to this court to take in to account the number of images and the category they are classed as.
“In your case most of them were category C.
“In these circumstances, and given you are a first offender, I can deal with this by a community disposal.”