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Sacked regional daily photographer spared jail over child porn offences

Kevin EmslieA regional daily photographer who was sacked after being found guilty of child pornography charges has been spared jail.

Kevin Emslie, left, who worked for the Aberdeen-based Press & Journal, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work as an alternative to custody when he appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing after being found guilty of an offence involving indecent images of children.

A P&J report of the hearing states that he was also placed on the sex offenders register for a year.

During the trial the court was told that 156 illicit images were found on computers belonging to 46-year-old Emslie, including 14 graphic photographs of boys and girls aged between five and 13 being abused by adults.

A not proven verdict was returned on a second charge of possessing child porn between December 2008 and November 2015.

Emslie had been suspended from his own at the DC Thomson-owned title as soon as the offences came to light, and was sacked following the guilty verdict last month.

Press & Journal editor Damian Bates said: “Once we became aware that Kevin was due in court on these charges, we suspended him immediately pending the outcome of the case.

“As soon as Kevin was found guilty, we moved swiftly to an internal disciplinary process which resulted in his dismissal from The Press and Journal.”

Emslie had denied the allegations against him, but the court heard his mother’s house in Milltimber, west of Aberdeen, and his current address in Bridge of Don, to the north, had been searched by police in 2015.

The searches had led to the images’ discovery, but David Moggach, defending, had argued throughout the trial it had not been proved that Emslie was responsible for the images being on the computers found at the addresses.

During his sentencing hearing, Mr Moggach said Emslie “maintains his position” regarding the offence, while the court also heard he had been assessed as of “low risk” of reoffending in the social work report.

Sheriff Graeme Napier told Emslie, whose address was given in court papers as Newburgh Crescent, Aberdeen: “What I propose to do is reflect the fact we are not dealing with a large quantity of photographs here, it’s not even in the high hundreds.”

“When applying the English guidelines as I’m required to take into account, it seems the matter can be dealt with without a custodial sentence.”

3 comments

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  • April 27, 2017 at 9:40 am
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    Without commenting on the case (scarily, ‘child images’ cases seem almost as common as drink-drive reports these days)…
    …Really hate the prevalence of ‘avoids jail’ and ‘spared jail’ in headlines and intros. Though the former is worse, as it implies ‘got away with it’.

    Offenders are only ‘spared jail’ if the judge or sheriff says: “This crime merits a custodial sentence, but…”
    If they say: “It doesn’t meet the threshold for a custodial sentence” (as here) then they aren’t being ‘spared jail'; it’s just what the offence merits on the sentencing scale.

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  • April 27, 2017 at 10:37 am
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    Ho Hum: Appreciate your pedantry, but I think in cases of child porn a certain amount of subjectiveness is allowable. These people deserve and should all be jailed…

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  • April 27, 2017 at 12:59 pm
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    Fully agree with IvyLikes and yes sadly there’s a few pedants always lurking

    one image is enough, I find the whole wimpish excuse of “…not dealing with a large quantity of photographs here, it’s not even in the high hundreds.” Pathetic

    So it’s not the fact this ‘person’ ( chooses word carefully) had the images which presumably is ok then as long as he didn’t have a few hundred ?!

    Beyond my comprehension

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