A man sobbed “with his head in his hands” on the front steps of a north-east police station as he admitted to officers he had been viewing indecent images of children.
William Pirie had been downloading pictures of girls aged between 12 and 14 onto his home computer in Peterhead.
The 64-year-old said he had become “curious” and sought them out after reading an online discussion on young people who looked older than the age of consent.
But the guilt he felt afterwards prompted him to hand himself in to police and Pirie, a first time offender, admitted his involvement at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday.
He also pleaded guilty to deleting some of his internet search history – something he had been expressly forbidden from doing so as part of bail conditions.
Pirie claimed he only did so to free up hard drive space on his laptop.
Between July 1 and August 22, 2019, he downloaded 182 images classed as category C – the lowest of three.
Pirie, of Broad Street, Peterhead, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work by Sheriff William Summers.
He will spend the next three years under the supervision of social workers and on the sex offenders register, and will also need to complete a rehabilitation programme.
Sheriff Summers told him: “Anyone who involves themselves in this perpetuates the violent trade of the creation of such images.”