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Wester Ross man said to be baiting paedophiles told police who found child abuse images: 'It's not what you think', Highland court told

By Ali Morrison

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Sentence was again deferred on a Wester Ross man who decided to target paedophiles by downloading and posting child abuse videos and images on social media as bait.

But 21-year-old Jake Driver's plan backfired on him when police received intelligence that he possessed the images and officers raided his home at MacInnes Place, Glenshiel.

Last month, he appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court and admitted having 60 videos and 10 still images on two devices at his home on July 12, 2020, many of which were duplicates, fiscal depute Pauline Gair said.

However when Driver appeared before Sheriff Sara Matheson for sentencing after a background report had been prepared, defence solicitor advocate Neil Wilson said he was unhappy with its content.

He said it was based on incorrect information and did not relate to what his client had pleaded guilty to.

The lawyer asked the Sheriff to call for the social work department to re-examine its risk assessment for Driver based on the correct data, to which Sheriff Matheson agreed.

Driver will appear again on August 1 and his bail was continued.

He was already placed on the Sex Offender's Register.

Mrs Gair told the court that Driver immediately explained to police that "it is not what you think" when the images were found in his recycle bin.

"He later told police that he used them as bait to trap paedophiles and would hack into their accounts and change their passwords so they couldn't access the images.

"He said he had blocked 100-150 social media accounts and was doing it because there were a lot of child abuse images being shared on social media and nothing was being done."

Driver also told police he had never viewed or shared the videos.

Sheriff Matheson told Mr Wilson that she was concerned at Driver's explanation that he was trying to ensnare paedophiles.

Mr Wilson added: "It is not disputed by the Crown and there is support for that in the forensic report."

Fiscal depute Susan Love confirmed she did not have an issue with this explanation, which Mr Wilson said did not constitute a defence to the charge.

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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