Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 12:41 UK

Music teacher viewed child porn

computer mouse
Sutherland was arrested after police received a tip-off

A school music teacher has been jailed for 18 months for viewing thousands of pictures of child pornography on his home computer.

Jamieson Sutherland, 40, taught music part-time at schools in Edinburgh and was also a youth worker at two city churches before he was caught.

Acting on a tip-off, police found 4,000 images on his laptop of children aged as young as four being abused.

Some were of the most severe level five, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie said Sutherland was part of the "audience" which kept up demand for such images that in turn led to children being abused.

Sexual images

"It is clear that the children involved, some as young as four years old, had been exploited in the most horrific way," the sheriff said.

"Having taken account of all the factors, no sentence other than a custodial one is appropriate.

"Given the number and nature of the images, which included numerous at level four, you are sentenced to 18 months in prison."

She placed Sutherland on the Sex Offenders' Register for 10 years.

Sutherland, a professional chorister, was fired from St John's church in Princes Street and St Mary's church in the city when he told the ministers he was being investigated.

He has resigned from the post he had and he's not working at the moment
Andrew Gibb
Defence solicitor

He told police he had been researching the way children were portrayed in society and admitted getting "hooked" on sexual images of children.

The teacher, who worked with children as young as four, said he had started looking at child modelling sites before progressing to harder images, but denied being sexually aroused by the pictures.

The court was told Sutherland had seen a psychiatrist in a bid to cure his "unhealthy fascination".

He pled guilty earlier this year to allowing indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children to be taken or made at his home between March 2004 and January 2008.

Solicitor Andrew Gibb, defending, said it was an unusual case because Sutherland, of Dalgety Avenue, Edinburgh, had not saved any of the images after viewing them.

"The bulk of the images are level one, although I don't think that in any way exculpates him," Mr Gibb said.

"He has resigned from the post he had and he's not working at the moment," he added.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific