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Jailing of Dingwall child porn sex offender proves there's no hiding place behind a computer; Police urge anyone with concerns about child abuse to come forward in wake of jailing of Ross-shire man


By Ali Morrison

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Liam Mackay. Picture: Police Scotland.
Liam Mackay. Picture: Police Scotland.

THE jailing of a Ross-shire man caught with thousands of sickening indecent images and videos of children smashes the myth that computers provide a hiding place for abusers.

Police made their remarks in reaction to the sentencing yesterday of Dingwall man Liam Mackay (31) of Deas Avenue.

He had previously admitted downloading indecent images and videos of children aged between two and 12.

He was sentenced to 22 months' imprisonment and 30 months on licence thereafter.

He has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

Last May, officers carried out an operation at Mackay’s home in Dingwall where electronic equipment was seized and analysed.

Thousands of indecent images of children were recovered which led to Mackay's arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Banks of Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: “There is a misunderstanding by some that the internet provides anonymity. Mackay’s arrest shows that this is not the case and no matter what steps you have taken to avoid detection you cannot hide behind a computer.

“We will work with our partners to take action against anyone who is involved in these abhorrent crimes.Any form of child sexual abuse is a serious criminal offence and a priority for Police Scotland. I would urge anyone with any concerns about a child at risk of abuse, or a potential victim, to contact us immediately.”

The court was told that Mackay had previous convictions, one for a sexual contact offence against a 14 year old girl, and for similar charges of possessing child porn.

His latest offence was committed while he was still under supervision for his offending.

The court heard he had also downloaded child porn on a previous occasion whilst under supervision.

When officers arrived at the property on May 7, 2020 to execute a warrant, they discovered a USB stick hidden in the hollow leg of his bed.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that a cursory examination of it revealed images of children aged between two years and 12 years being abused.

Fiscal depute Alison Young said that forensic analysis discovered 2180 still images and 315 videos and that Mackay was a registered sex offender and on a community payback order.

They were categorised in three rankings of obscenity, the highest being 'A', of which there were 308 images and 171 videos.

In 'B', there were 511 stills and 107 videos, and in 'C', the memory stick had 1,361 photographs and 37 videos.

They were created between March and December, 2019.

Mackay admitted downloading indecent images and videos, the play time of which was a total of one day, six hours, three minutes and one second.



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