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Court / Unpaid work and supervision for Sandwick man who had indecent photos of children on his phone

A THIRTY five year old mechanic from Sandwick has been ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work after admitting possession indecent photos and videos of children.

Erik Stove, of Setter, had previously pleaded guilty to possessing and “taking or permitting to be taken” indecent photographs of children between 23 August 2014 and 8 March last year.

Lerwick Sheriff Court had previously heard that Stove had three still images and 11 videos on his mobile phone, several of which fell into the most serious “category A”.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said a social work report had been “full and helpful”, showing that, while his wife had temporarily absented herself from the marital home, she had now returned and was supportive.

He said Stove – who told police when he was arrested “I know there’s stuff on my phone that’s borderline and I wish to f**k I didn’t have it” – was “genuinely remorseful and ashamed” of his actions.

Kelly said his client was in many ways relieved to have been caught as it had forced him to address a pornography problem that left him “locked in a prison of addiction”.

He had been sent two videos involving moving images of children in 2014 and, during the Covid-19 lockdown, had gone on a “dark pathway” where idle hands precipitated a “spectacular further fall from grace”.

In the past year he has “done much to rid himself of this addiction” and is “thought of highly by his peers”, Kelly added.

Sheriff Cruickshank noted that the offending was unusual in that it took place over a lengthy period but only a small number of images were involved.

He handed Stove a community payback order under supervision for 18 months, during which time he will also be subject to notification requirements under sexual offences legislation.

If you have been affected by sexual violence, support is available. Contact The Compass Centre 9am-1.30pm Mon-Thurs on 01595 747 174 or email contact@compasscentre.org


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