A north-east engineer who sent explicit pictures of himself to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl, only to discover it was the police, has been jailed and put on the sex offenders’ register for life.
James Brown befriended somebody he thought was Leila Macleod online, sent her sexually explicit messages and urged her to send him naked pictures of herself during a three-month period last summer.
He also sent the account three indecent images of children.
However, this came to an end when police raided his home on the High Street in Laurencekirk after receiving intelligence that devices there contained child porn.
Officers subsequently discovered him wearing the same boxer shorts as in one of the pictures he despatched to the undercover officer.
The 32-year-old confessed to sending explicit messages to an account he thought was that of a 13-year-old girl as well as possessing and distributing child porn during an earlier appearance in Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
The court previously heard that, across the devices, police found 18 grade A photos (the most serious), 28 grade B and 77 grade C.
Representing Brown, defence agent Chris Maitland asked for his client to be spared jail.
He said: “He accepted responsibility for these matters at a very early stage.
“Acceptance is the first step towards rehabilitation. He is extremely sorry for his actions.”
He went on to say that a large number of the images had been deleted long before the police obtained them and only three had been shared.
He added: “Thankfully, it was not a 13-year-old, it was an undercover officer.”
However, Sheriff William Summers jailed him for 30 months and put him on the sex offenders’ register for life.
He said: “One charge involved sexualised conversing with someone you thought to be a 13-year-old girl.
“The language you used was obscene and depraved and you sent the person naked images of you and sought to persuade her to send images of herself.
“In my assessment, these cases are so serious the only appropriate sentence is one of imprisonment.”