A 12-year album of shame

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A man caught with indecent photographs of young children has been jailed for 12 months.

Pervert Derek Hartley stored the shock images he had taken between December 2002 and November 2014 on a computer police found in his home.

The 48-year-old, who had been charged on indictment and pled guilty at a previous appearance at Falkirk Sheriff Court, was back last Thursday for sentence.

Sheriff John Mundy was forced to recall the case after Hartley’s lawyer, John Mullholland, explained he could no longer represent him because Hartley now questioned the plea and the content of background reports prepared on him by social workers.

Sheriff Mundy said he could not pass sentence without Hartley being legally represented and adjourned until he could be interviewed by the duty solicitor.

When he returned to the dock later, defence lawyer Simon Hutchison spoke on his behalf.

Mr Hutchison said: “I have gone over the charges and the reports and advised Mr Hartley to accept that the guilty plea is the one that should have been made.”

The lawyer added: “This is a man who needs assistance and a man society needs protection from.”

Sheriff Mundy said that given the guidelines there was no alternative to a custodial sentence.

He also placed Hartley, from 65 Woodburn Avenue, Redding, on the sex offenders register for ten years and agreed with a Crown motion that his computer equipment be confiscated.