Ross-shire man caught with indecent images of children learns fate in Highland court
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A sheriff's remarks while dealing with a man who admitted viewing indecent images of children prompted applause from the public benches.
However Sheriff Gary Aitken quickly slapped down those responsible for the noise, ordering them: "You will stop this now!"
In the dock yesterday at Inverness Sheriff Court was Simon Bishop (43) of Inchbae, Garve, who appeared on indictment admitting having more than 300 indecent images of children and nine indecent videos of children lasting in total 95 minutes.
His home had been raided by police acting on intelligence passed to them and the vile material was discovered on two laptops.
Defence solicitor Mhyrin Hill was telling Sheriff Aitken that problems in Bishop's personal life might be mitigating factors for his offending, but he interjected: "There is simply no excuse for watching children being brutalised for his own gratification."
The brief interruption followed from two or three people in the public benches.
And later when sentencing Bishop, the sheriff re-iterated: "There is simply no excuse for having material of this kind whatever your personal circumstances are."
Sheriff Aitken said that while custody would remove Bishop's ability to access such material, the problem was removing his desire to view the images.
Bishop was sentenced to community payback with a three-year supervision order and placed on the Moving Forward Making Changes adult male sex offenders' programme as a direct alternative to custody.
He was also placed under a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and the Sex Offenders Register, both for five years.