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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 15:51 GMT
Paedophile loses net ban bid
Computer
Robertson was caught as part of an international porn investigation
The first paedophile in Scotland to be banned from using the internet has had a bid to get the order lifted rejected.

Derick Robertson was banned from using the internet on his own after being caught with more than 1,000 child porn images on his computer.

He went back to court to try and change the order at the request of Fife Council social workers, who claimed it was impossible to regulate.

But his bid was turned down by Sheriff Shiona Waldron at Perth Sheriff Court.

She said many probation terms like Robertson's online ban were impossible to police on a day-to-day basis, but that did not make them invalid.

Sheriff Waldron said the court was concerned by Robertson's "propensity for and self-proclaimed addiction to pornography".

She added: "It is not the case that if conditions are imposed on a probation order then they have to be policed by effective practical means.

It's appropriate that any monitoring of the computer at his home that can be undertaken by the police on an occasional basis, by checking the computer, should be undertaken
Sheriff Shiona Waldron
"It is easier to enforce them if they are. However, some are a matter of trust. There are conditions imposed on him already that are like that."

She said the ban on Robertson being alone with or working with anyone under-17 were also impossible to monitor on a 24-hour-a-day basis.

But Sheriff Waldron said: "It's appropriate that any monitoring of the computer at his home that can be undertaken by the police on an occasional basis, by checking the computer, should be undertaken.

"The condition will remain that he should have no unsupervised access to the computer."

Robertson's solicitor said the bid to vary the order had been raised by Fife Council as they had struggled to police it practically.

The former Arnold Clark car salesman had the "no internet access" ruling imposed on 10 December, but still shares a home computer with his partner.

Solicitor Brian Tait told Perth Sheriff Court that Robertson had moved from Kinross to Fife since being convicted of possessing child porn last month.

Perth Sheriff Court
The case was rejected at Perth Sheriff Court
Mr Tait said social workers had proposed carrying out random checks on his home to install a special disk which would reveal what Robertson had searched for.

Sheriff Waldron initially sentenced Robertson to three years probation and imposed the condition banning internet use.

She also banned him from spending time alone or working with anyone under the age of 17 and ordered that he undergo sex offenders treatment and do 240 hours unpaid work.

Robertson admitted possessing 10 indecent images at his home with a view to them being distributed or shared with other people in February this year.

He also admitted downloading 1,320 indecent images of children between November 1999 and February 2003.

Perth Sheriff Court was told that Robertson was caught as part of the international Operation Ore child pornography investigation.


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