Edinburgh retiree spared jail after spending two decades searching for illegal footage
An Edinburgh retiree who was caught with more than 370,000 gruesome images of child abuse has escaped jail time.
Leslie Rutherford, 66, has spent two decades scouring the internet for photos and videos of children being sexually abused by adults.
Police raided Rutherford’s home in Edinburgh last year following intelligence and seized several electronic devices.
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Cybercrime officers discovered that the vile OAP had uploaded a total of 373,123 disgusting images, of which 464 were categorized as A – the worst end of the spectrum.
Rutherford pleaded guilty to possession of indecent images of children between 1999 and last year when he appeared in Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and returned on Friday to be sentenced.
Defense attorney Nigel Bruce told the court his client was married childless but his marriage is now over.
Sheriff Nigel Ross admitted that “the number of images uploaded was very high” but decided not to impose a custodial sentence.
Rutherford was instead placed on the sex offender registry for five years and ordered to do 225 hours of unpaid work in the community.
The retiree was also placed under social surveillance for three years and banned from having any unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16.
The sheriff also ordered Rutherford not to enter children’s play parks and to attend sessions with the sex offender organization CISSO.
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Earlier, Tax MP Anna Chisholm told the court that police raided Rutherford’s home in the capital’s Newbridge district on September 7 last year.
Ms Chisholm said “the accused was not present but his family members were” because he was at work at the time of the raid. He was then found and arrested.
The fiscal said that 464 of the images found were in category A – the worst level – while 511 were in category B and 372,148 were in category C.
The court heard that 682 videos – 118 Category A – of sexually abused children were also found along with the massive collection of still images.
Rutherford pleaded guilty to two offenses of possession of indecent images of children between March 11, 1999 and September 7 of last year.