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Ex-daily features editor admits having 31 child abuse images

A former regional daily journalist has admitted possessing 31 indecent images of children.

Norman Harper, who used to work at Aberdeen daily The Press & Journal, will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to the charges.

The 60-year-old appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday, where he admitted possessing and making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children.

According to the Aberdeen Evening Express, fiscal depute John Richardson told the court police had received intelligence from a national child abuse prevention agency on the case.

Aberdeen Sheriff Scourt

Aberdeen Sheriff Scourt

Sheriff William Summers deferred sentence on Harper, whose address was given as Tullynessle, Alford, Aberdeenshire.

Harper was made subject to the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders’ Act. He will be sentenced next month.

Brought up in rural Aberdeenshire, Harper originally joined the Press & Journal as a young reporter after abandoning a medical degree to pursue a career in journalism.

In 1987 he became the paper’s features editor and also served a leader writer, columnist and motoring correspondent, testing around 3,000 models of cars.

In 1998 he wrote a history of the P&J entitled First Daily, which was published to coincide with the paper’s 250th anniversary.

He has also written and published several fiction books and specialises in articles on Doric, a dialect spoken in North-East Scotland.