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Court / Community payback order for indecent images offence

A MAN who accessed 30 indecent photographs of children has avoided a prison sentence and instead been placed under supervision for three years.

Marcus Marriott, 42, of Dunrossness, committed the offence on or between 12 September and 8 December last year at an address in Brae.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday for sentencing, defence agent Tommy Allan said his client viewed his behaviour as an “addiction”.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said the offence involved 30 thumbnail images, of which seven were deemed to be category A in severity, 14 category B and nine category C.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said the offending took place at a time when his client was suffering in his personal life.

“He views this as an addiction and this is a lapse,” he said.

“Since that time he’s sought help to address the problem.”

Allan said it was “clearly a serious matter” but said Marriott “made no secret of his problem” and was motivated to change.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said balancing all the factors – including the extent of the offence and what was said in mitigation – he felt that prison was not the only option.

“I consider that there’s a direct alternative to a custodial sentence and that is by imposing a community payback order,” he said.

In addition to the three years of supervision, Marriott was given 200 hours of unpaid work to complete.

He was made to undergo the Moving Forward: Making Changes programme, and was placed on the sex offenders register for three years.

Sheriff Cruickshank also granted forfeiture of the device involved in the offence.