A Keith paedophile who uploaded videos featuring children as young as two with adults and even a dog has dodged jail – despite showing a lack of “empathy” for the victims.
Kenneth Hird was caught with more than 18 hours of vile footage and hundreds of sinister pictures after uploading a video to a cloud storage service.
He also pled guilty to possessing an extreme pornographic image depicting sexual activity with animals and distributing indecent images of children.
Now, after returning to the dock to be sentenced, Hird was blasted by Sheriff David Harvie for minimising his offences and for lacking insight and empathy.
Referring to a court-ordered social work report, the sheriff said: “There is quite a lot of minimisation peppered throughout the report.
“I wish there were signs of some insight in it.”
‘He realises there are victims here’
Defence solicitor Patrick O’Dea said his client “does regret his behaviour” and is appalled.
Mr O’Dea said Hird had attended a programme designed to help people stop themselves accessing child abuse images “of his own volition”.
He added: “He realises there are victims here.”
Sheriff Harvie told Hird: “I am sceptical that you have insight and empathy and I am concerned with the risk assessment in the report.”
However, Sheriff Harvie said that, as an alternative to custody, he was ordering Hird to remain under social work supervision for three years and on the sex offender’s register for the same period.
During that time, Hird must participate in another more intense programme for sex offenders called “Moving Forward Making Changes“.
Sheriff Harvie added: “I am not sending you to jail partly because you have accepted guilt at an early stage and the report says that some progress can be made with you.
“But I want to keep an eye on you.
“There will be a review of your progress and participation in three months.”
Hird will return to court on December 6.
Sickening videos found
At the earlier hearing, fiscal depute Susan Love told Inverness Sheriff Court that police had received intelligence about the accused uploading a “compilation of videos of categories A to C to his Dropbox account”.
As a result of this, on April 20 last year, a search warrant was executed at the home Hird shared with his parents in Alexandra Road, Keith.
Hird was at home with his mother when officers arrived to execute the warrant and seized a number of electronics.
Examination of these uncovered 398 indecent images, 21 of which were category A – the most severe.
There were also 171 videos, with a combined run time of 18 hours and 33 minutes, 80 of which were also category A.
Hird had also shared three of the videos with a third party via a Kik messaging account.
The images and videos included children aged from two to 15.
Some of the content featured adults, some other children and some a dog.