Shamed child porn addict narrowly avoids prison

Sheriff Caldwell warned Buchanan he will be jailed of he breaches his order
Sheriff Caldwell warned Buchanan he will be jailed of he breaches his order

A pervert caught with pictures and videos of young children being sexually abused has narrowly avoided jail.

Sick child porn addict Gerard Buchanan collected his horror library of perversion over a period of five years between 2010 and 2015.

Falkirk Sheriff Court heard last Thursday the shamed 56-year-old, who at one time worked in education, was living in Kennedy Way, Airth, in 2014 when he was involved in distributing some of his shocking material to others.

The court was told he had around 3000 indecent images including some showing the sexual abuse of babies.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell said Buchanan had been involved in a “vile trade” but opted not to send him to prison.

He said although Buchanan had been caught distributing indecent photographs and videos which should “tip the scales” away from a community-based sentence in favour of custody, he was prepared to step back from that.

The sheriff placed him on a three year supervised community order that will include no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16 and the completion of 200 hours unpaid work in six months.

He told Buchanan: “There is a fine line between custody and a community-based disposal. I have considered all the material regarding this serious matter, the fact the number of images involved was not small and the fact you were involved in distribution.

“I have noted you have engaged with the ‘Stop It Now’ programme and been assessed as being at a low risk of re-offending. With some difficulty these exceptional circumstances allow me to impose a community order.”

But he warned Buchanan: “These were grave offences and this sentence is a direct alternative to custody. Any shortfall with your engagement and you will be brought back here and sent prison.”

Buchanan will also be expected to make any computer and electronic devices he has available to be inspected by social workers at any time and be placed on the sex offenders register until 2019.

Defence lawyer Stephen Biggam said Buchanan, from 3 Brackenhirst Gardens, Glenmavis, Airdrie, has made efforts to rehabilitate himself.

Mr Biggam claimed: “He knows he could face custody as punishment, but wants to resolve his problems and avoid further conduct like this. He has completed courses that should help, but knows there is more work to be done to make progress with his difficulties. He recognised that early on.”