An engineer caught with a sick stash of more than 7,000 child abuse images today dodged jail – despite his lawyer telling a court he was a “sex addict” who harbours “deviant fantasies”.
Campbell McAulay’s horde was found during a dawn raid on the rural farm house he shares with his wife.
Cyber crime officers working on a tip-off seized several pieces of computing equipment from McAulay – who a court heard works as an engineer for a science and engineering firm.
When they examined it they found he had made a series of sick web searches – including “pre-teen bikini”, “jailbait” and “Russian teen nudists”.
He had also downloaded a total of 7,330 indecent images of children – with 135 of those at the highest level of depravity.
McAulay’s defence counsel told a court he was attending weekly Sex Addicts Anonymous group meetings – and said he “held deviant fantasies”.
But despite that he avoided a prison term after a sheriff said he had “made progress in addressing his offending behaviour”.
Fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin told Dundee Sheriff Court that McAulay made no comment about the images when interviewed by police.
She said: “The searches were found on the user profile named ‘Campbell’ which was password protected.
“The internet search history showed a number of indecent search terms.”
McAulay, 52, of Muirloch Farm, Liff, by Dundee, pleaded guilty on indictment to taking or making indecent images of children between November 12 2014 and June 21 2016 at his home address.
Defence advocate Tim Niven-Smith said McAulay had taken a course with a charity in a bid to curb his offending as soon as he was arrested.
He said: “He also contacted Sex Addicts Anonymous and has been attending meetings with them weekly.
“He is making changes.
“He has been preoccupied with sexual thoughts throughout his adulthood and he has deviant fantasies.
“There is an appropriate treatment package available for him.
“A treatment order would best protect the public at large and in particular those for whom he may hold deviant fantasies rather than a moderate term of imprisonment.”
Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed a community payback order with 300 hours unpaid work, three years supervision, an order to undertake a sex offenders treatment programme and conditions around his internet use and contact with children.
McAulay was also placed on the sex offenders register for three years.
The sheriff said: “You have pled guilty to a serious offence.
“There were a significant number of images – over 7,000 – and the guidance to the courts is that for that amount of images it would warrant a custodial sentence.
“You have taken steps to address your offending behaviour and have made some progress with that.
“I also take into account the comments made in the reports that you have shown real remorse.
“Looking at it overall in my view I can impose a community payback order as a direct alternative to custody.”