Prison term for downloading indecent images

A MAN from Lerwick who downloaded over 21,000 indecent photos and videos of children has been sent to prison for 20 months.

Ross Robert Morrison, of Burgh Road, previously pleaded guilty at Lerwick Sheriff Court to “taking or permitting to be taken” the images at an address in the town on or between 3 December 2016 and 16 January 2018.

The court previously heard that the images recovered from Morrison’s laptop were both described as “accessible and inaccessible”, with the latter meaning they had been deleted.

The images and videos covered the three classifications A, B and C, with A being the most serious.

Most of the images and videos were category C, with over 21,000 inaccessible images found in that classification as well as nearly 300 inaccessible videos.

There were no ‘accessible’ images or videos in category A or B, but there were 15 inaccessible category A pictures and three videos.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie previously told the court that all of the images and videos found contained girls, with some as young as five years old, adding that Morrison had frequented a Russian image website.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday, defence agent Tommy Allan said his 46 year old client had struggled to cope with the fact that he had committed the offence.

The solicitor added that Morrison could not explain how he got into the situation where he was viewing the images.

While he said he did not want to detract from the seriousness of the crime, Allan noted that the majority of the images were classified as the lower category C.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said he struggled to understand how someone could view that amount of images and videos “without a purpose”.

He noted that guidelines meant that the classification of the images had to be taken into account when sentencing.

The sheriff ruled there was no alternative to custody and he gave Morrison an extended sentence of 44 months.

This comprised of a 20-month prison sentence followed by a 24-month period out on licence. Morrison was also placed on the sex offenders register.