The beast that walked among us

Child rapist David Morrison
Child rapist David Morrison

an EVIL beast who raped a baby girl faces years behind bars.

Twisted David Morrison (45) even boasted about his sickening crimes online.

He admitted the horrific offence against the 14-month-old tot and with sharing thousands of indecent images of child abuse with others on the internet when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on Friday.

He was trapped after a complex and lengthy inquiry led by Central Scotland Police.

Morrison admitted that he raped the baby while she was in his care in his home in Kersiebank Avenue, Grangemouth. But officers were able to build up the case against him by studying the veins on his hands.

They also tracked his evil crimes through online chat logs and photographs.

Unemployed Morrison was a familiar figure in Grangemouth where he was regularly seen on his bicycle towing a trailer with children inside.

Detectives who seized his computers discovered he had taken a video clip of the rape, sent the image to a paedophile in the United States and then spoke about it online.

Officers had to trawl through his sick stash of 166 videos and 13,141 images found in his home.

One admitted the job was “harrowing”, while another described Morrison as “the most dangerous sex predator we have ever investigated – and we have investigated a few”.

Police also believe that if Morrison hadn’t been stopped, he would have gone on to commit even worse crimes.

The task of sifting through the evidence was so difficult that the 30 or more officers involved were all volunteers and a force spokesman confirmed they are now being offered “support”.

Morrison pled guilty to raping the 14-month-old child on various occasions between October 2009 and December 2010.

He also admitted charges of making, possessing and distributing indecent pictures of children between March 2009 and December 2010.

The court heard a female friend of Morrison’s discovered footage on his computer of a young girl being abused – but the pervert initially denied any knowledge of it.

Last December, the same woman visited Morrison at his home and he told her that he had been fantasising about having sex in front of children.

The woman reported her fears to police and a warrant to search his home was granted.

But days later the brute turned up drunk at a police station and admitted he had downloaded indecent images and distributed them.

Officers recovered the videos, images and chat information from his home. But expert analysts assisting the police were able to identify the location in the image as his home and that a hand which featured in the photograph was Morrison.

It followed comparison of the pattern of veins on the back of his hand with photographs of the predator.

Forensic examination of five hard-drives taken from his home revealed Morrison had been in contact with paedophiles in 25 countries. In the UK alone, 15 people have been arrested as a result of the inquiry and three children “removed from harm”.

Known as Operation Malta, the inquiry was led by the force’s Public Protection Unit and Detective Inspector Barry Blair said children in the area are now considerably safer following Morrison’s convictions.

He said: “A comprehensive and unique evidential jigsaw helped us to charge Morrison with rape. We were able to piece together this offending by examining his chat logs to other offenders immediately before the offence took place, detailed examination of the images he had taken of the abuse actually taking place and looking at chat logs immediately after the offence had taken place.”

Detective Sergeant Douglas Howie, of the Specialist Investigations unit, which probes online crime and sexual abuse, said: “The possession and distribution of child abuse images is in no way a victimless crime. Morrison was in contact with more than 200 people around the world through the internet, who were all like-minded individuals who were interested in the sexual abuse of young children.

“Morrison was carrying out sex abuse on a small child and posting these images around the world for the gratification of others. I cannot think of a more abhorrent offence.”

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Johnston, who heads the Public Protection Unit, said the investigation was a team effort involving police, experts from the National Policing Improvement Agency, CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) and the University of Dundee.

He added: “Public Protection is a key priority for our force and working with partner agencies is critical in this area of work. We have worked closely with Falkirk Council social services, NHS Forth Valley and the voluntary sector on this sensitive inquiry.”

Anne Donaldson, Area Procurator Fiscal for Central Scotland, said Morrison had pled guilty to offences that “any civilised person will find it impossible to comprehend”.

She said: “Working closely with police specialists, who utilised the latest technology to uncover the extent of his offending, the expert prosecutors in our National Sexual Crimes Unit have today brought Morrison to justice for these despicable crimes.

“I want to reassure the public that the prosecution service will work tirelessly to ensure that there is no place to hide for those intent on committing child abuse. They will be found and they will be brought to justice.”