A 54-year-old Inverness man who distributed hundreds of obscene images of child abuse through internet chatrooms was jailed for 27 months yesterday.
Mark Handlin, of Telford Road, pleaded guilty at an Inverness Sheriff Court hearing last month to downloading 900 photographs and distributing 400, some of them at the highest category of depravity.
His lawyer, Neil Wilson told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that his client knew he was going to be imprisoned.
Mr Wilson added: “He has expressed remorse at what he has done and recognises that this is not a victimless crime.
“If he is offered help, then he would accept it. There is a lack of previous convictions here and he is assessed by social workers at being of low risk of re-offending.”
Sheriff Neilson had deferred sentence for a background report and placed Handlin on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Handlin admitted possessing and distributing indecent photographs of children between August 7, 2014, and February 29 last year at his home address.
Fiscal depute Michelle Molley told the court that police entered Handlin’s home at 9.30am on February 29 last year based on intelligence they had received.
She said: “Officers received three devices – one white mobile phone, a black mobile phone and a tablet device.
“The black mobile phone contained three e-mail accounts.”
She said the accused also shared images of children between ages one and 16 years using Messenger apps.
Ms Molley added said that Handlin had 186 of the worst images on his phone, 185 of the next lower category B and 490 images at the lowest.
There were also a total of 19 indecent child videos spanning all three categories.
On the white mobile phone, Handlin had “shared and distributed” indecent images and videos between July 29, 2015 and February 29, 2016 using Messenger apps.
Ms Molley added that the sharing took place by use of a “dropbox” – an online link to a collection of pictures – through an internet chatroom.
In total, 145 of them were category A, another 125 images at category B and 125 of category C.
A total of 83 videos were recorded and distributed.