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Muir of Ord paedophile told by Highland sheriff: ‘I very much wish to impose a prison sentence’


By Court Reporter

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Disguised paedophile David Murchison leaves court.
Disguised paedophile David Murchison leaves court.

A sheriff had to leave the bench and compose herself before she sentenced a Ross-shire paedophile for offences she said "plumbed the depths of depravity."

Sheriff Sara Matheson was about to punish 41-year-old married father David Murchison, having read the sordid details of his attempts to get indecent images of a child so he could get sexually aroused.

But his target was actually an undercover police officer posing as a young girl's mother.

Before adjourning, Sheriff Matheson told Murchison: "It would not be fair to proceed to sentencing in my current state of fury about these offences."

When she returned, she agreed with defence solicitor David Patterson that the "threshold for prison had been passed" but she decided not to jail Murchison.

She criticised the summary offence brought under the Communications Act which carried a six-month maximum penalty.

Sheriff Sara Matheson said: ‘Nothing would please me more than for you to breach these orders so you will come back to me and I can jail you for a long time.’
Sheriff Sara Matheson said: ‘Nothing would please me more than for you to breach these orders so you will come back to me and I can jail you for a long time.’

She added: "With your early plea, I have to apply discount and then you will only serve half which I impose, meaning you would hardly be in jail before you are out again.

"I very much wish to impose a prison sentence. But given the impositions put on me on sentencing, I think the protection of the public will be served with a strict community payback order with supervision."

She ordered Murchison to remain under social work supervision for three years and on the Sex Offender's Register for the same period.

He must also participate in a sex offender's rehabilitation programme
and carry out 210 hours of unpaid community work.

"The messages you sent were fortunately to an undercover police officer, were disgusting and dangerous and you expressed the wish to 'have 'a little girl.'

"I consider you pose a risk to children. Nothing would please me more than for you to breach these orders so you will come back to me and I can jail you for a long time."

At an earlier hearing, the court was told that Murchison of Nobles
Court, Muir of Ord thought that he was communicating with a
like-minded mother of a young girl when it was actually an undercover
police officer.

Fiscal depute Shamielah Ghafar narrated the harrowing texts Murchison
exchanged on an internet chat forum with the "decoy" who called herself 'Vic'.

Murchison admitted a breach of the Communications Act on an occasion between March 28, 2023 and March 30, 2023 by sending communications to 'Vic' which were grossly offensive, indecent or menacing, requesting images of her child, repeatedly expressing the desires to have sexual contact with children, repeatedly expressing graphic comments about children, sexual arousal and sexual contact with children.

Murchison also admitted a breach of the peace by covertly capturing photos of a young girl in various states of undress which Ms Ghafar said he offered to exchange with 'Vic'.

Mr Patterson said on behalf of his client: "These are offences which should not have happened and are wholly unacceptable.

"Upon detection, he was trying to understand why he behaved in this
way and he is taking part in a sex offender's programme. He is
ashamed."

Murchison changed his clothes and donned a hooded coat before leaving the court building. He made no comment.




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