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Last Updated: Friday, 26 March, 2004, 18:05 GMT
Computer ban for child porn man
Computer Keyboard
Hunter had trawled the internet for images of boys
A former Perth councillor who downloaded child pornography has been banned from owning a computer after escaping a jail sentence.

Disgraced SNP politician Iain Hunter was found guilty of accessing child porn at home and in his party office.

But he narrowly escaped imprisonment after Perth Sheriff Court heard he posed a medium risk to children.

Hunter, 44, from Gallowhill, Crieff, was banned from being alone with children under 16.

Sheriff Shiona Waldron placed Hunter on probation for three years and ordered him to attend the Tay Project sex offenders rehabilitation course.

'Children harmed'

She said: "You have accepted your behaviour was illegal and that the children contained in the photographs were harmed in the process.

"You are assessed as a medium risk for reoffending and I take into account that you have accepted your behaviour was illegal."

Hunter was found guilty of downloading images of children from the internet in the Perth and Kinross Council building and at his home, over a period of several months.

He had his home computer confiscated and his name was added to the Sex Offenders Register.

Hundreds of images

His trial heard how he had more than 1,000 images of boys being sexually abused stored on his work and home computers.

Police experts had given evidence that hundreds of photos of children were found on Hunter's computers.

But the sheriff said it was not enough for police officers simply to turn up in court and say they had seen the pictures.

She said she was left with no choice but to convict Hunter solely on three pictures of young boys which a medical expert had certified were under 16, and which had been shown to her.

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