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Convicted paedophile caught with indecent images spared prison as it would ‘have no effect’

Matthew McCourt leaving Elgin Sheriff Court.
Matthew McCourt leaving Elgin Sheriff Court.

A paedophile caught with indecent images of children has been spared prison in the hope he can be rehabilitated in the community.

In 2011, Matthew McCourt was jailed for 34 months after committing sexual offences against a primary school pupil in Nairn and a young girl in Inverness.

He appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court in July and admitted possessing indecent images of children between November 21 and December 13 last year.

The court heard that the children pictured in the files were aged between one and 15.

Four of the pictures were considered to be category B images, with the remaining 52 classed as category C.

But when  McCourt, of Greenbank Court, Buckie, returned to the dock yesterday Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov said custodial sentences previously imposed appeared to have “had no effect”.

She instead ordered that he remain in his home from 7pm-7am for the next 12 months, placed him on the sex offenders register for five years and ordered him to take part in a programme addressing his behaviour for the next three years.

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