Falkirk sheriff jails offender who viewed images of infants being abused

A 69-year-old first offender was jailed after he spent the 30 months searching the dark web for images of children as young as one being sexually abused.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 4:15 pm

Raymond Coney appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Thursday having pleaded guilty to taking or permit to be taken indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of children at his Claymires Cottage, Buchlyvie home between January 26, 2018 and August 31, 2020.

Coney’s crimes came to light following an investigation by police cyber crimes unit.

James Moncreiff, procurator fiscal depute, said: “A search warrant was executed on August 31. The accused and his wife were present. A lap top was recovered and there were indecent images on it.”

Raymond Coney was jailed for viewing images of child sexual abuse

The court heard there were a total of 31 accessible images – many of falling into the worst category of child sexual abuse – found on the lap top depicting children ranging in age from one to 13 years of age and a further 48 images found on his mobile phone, depicting children ranging in age from four to 15.

It was stated Coney had no previous criminal record and he had been married for 40 years.

The report classed him as a low risk to commit sexual offences.

He was said to have viewed the images online and these images were “retained” on these devices.

Coney has supposedly taken steps to “address the underlying difficulties which led to the commission of these offences” and had shown “remorse for his behaviour”.

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Sheriff Craig Harris, addressing Coney directly, said: “This offence is very serious and there is a high degree of culpability. There was a significant amount of planning to search for and access these images, which you would do when your wife was out.

"You deleted your search history to hide the evidence of your activities. There were 108 separate images – 40 of them category A – on your lap top and 31 still images still accessible.

"Viewing these downloaded images is part of the process of child sexual abuse. Those who access this material are responsible for creating demand for the material and this contributes to the pain and psychological abuse suffered by the children.

"And the children being abused in these images were between one and 15. You were therefore viewing shocking images of the abuse of infants for your sexual gratification.

"You actively searched the dark web for 30 months for this material.”

Sheriff Harris said there was no other disposable available in this case – he had to jail Coney to deter him from accessing such images in the future.

Coney was sent to prison for seven years and his name placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. An order for forfeiture of his lap top and phone was also made.

Detective Inspector Adrian Ure, of Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “Raymond Coney’s behaviour was appalling and demonstrated a complete and utter disregard for the young victims depicted in the images he was viewing.

“In committing these crimes, he mistakenly believed the internet would provide anonymity and allow him to undertake his offending undetected. However as a result of our investigation he will now rightly face the consequences of his actions."

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