A north-east pensioner has been spared prison after downloading indecent images of children, but his loved ones have turned their back on him in disgust.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday heard that Joseph Lima, 73, had been disowned by his family since his offending came to light in April and has had to spend months living in a hotel.
Police arrived at the home he previously shared with his wife on Boyne Court in Banff at 8.30am on Wednesday April 11, after receiving a tip-off that his computer had been accessing illegal websites.
Fiscal Jamie Dunbar said: “An Acer laptop was recovered along with USB sticks from a box in a wardrobe.
“The accused said they were his but initially denied any knowledge of the indecent images.”
Police found 16 images graded as Category A, the most severe, six at Category B and 86 graded as Category C.
Lima later admitted charges of possessing indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children and of “taking images or permitting them to be taken” between August 1, 2014 and April 11, 2018.
His defence agent said Lima’s life had fallen apart since his arrest and pleaded for him to be spared a prison sentence.
The lawyer said: “He and his wife have formally separated and he is living off his savings.
“He is a 73-year-old man who does not have a great future. His adult children have disowned him as well and he is something of a sad character.”
Sheriff Graham Buchanan acknowledged that the number of images involved was “relatively small”.
He ordered the accused to perform 120 hours of unpaid work in six months and put him on the sex offenders register.