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Court / Voyeur sent to jail for almost three years

POLICE in Shetland said they acknowledged the sentencing of a 48-year old local man to 32 months in prison, imposed at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday.

John Rankin, formerly of Sandwick, pled guilty to all charges, including the possession of vast amounts of indecent images and videos of children, which were discovered following police enforcement at his then home address in November 2019.

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Following this operation, police further discovered that Rankin was also a voyeur and had also secretly been filming young girls and women for almost a decade.

Detectives found pictures showing him setting up a secret camera, and several clips where he had used the clandestine equipment to video girls as young as 12 years, while they used the toilet.

In addition, detectives also discovered a recording of a woman getting dressed in a shop changing room in Lerwick.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that police officers found 12,600 still images and almost 1,700 videos stored on two desktop computers.

Detective sergeant with Shetland CID, Bruce Peebles, said all of the unsuspecting victims were identified and traced during the investigation, and were completely shocked and understandably perturbed by what had occurred.

“This was a very serious enquiry which utilised both Shetland based officers and specialist cybercrime enquiry officers, resulting in the early guilty plea by Rankin,” DS Peebles said.

Rankin has also been placed on the sex offenders’ register for an indefinite period.

Space2face

Space2face Shetland

Space2face Shetland is an independent and confidential service which uses Restorative Justice and the arts to bring those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication. We enable everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

If you would like to reach out to us, please contact us via e-mail info@space2face.org or mobile 07564 832467.

If you would like to know more, visit our website www.space2face.org, or our Facebook page #space2faceshetland.


The project is also currently fundraising to secure office space in Shetland’s brand-new creativity and wellness centre, The Mission. If you’re interesting in getting involved, or making a donation, head over to www.space2face.org/how-you-can-help

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