Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Sheriff to view child porn images

Andrew Melville
Andrew Melville has been added to the sex offenders register

A sheriff has deferred sentence on a former East Lothian headmaster who admitted possessing and distributing child pornography to view the images.

Andrew Melville, 48, left his job at Whitecraig Primary School in Musselburgh after police searched his Gullane home in March.

They found 457 indecent images of children, a dozen of which were at the more serious end of the spectrum.

Sentence was deferred at Edinburgh Sheriff court until Tuesday.

The father of three teenage children pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last December to being in possession of and distributing indecent photographs between 13 June 2004 and 30 May 2005.

Computers seized

Melville, who has no previous convictions, was appointed head teacher at Whitecraig Primary School in Musselburgh in 2007.

He was suspended and then sacked by East Lothian Council in July of last year.

In December, Fiscal Depute Siobhan Monks told the court that after receiving the information, police obtained a search warrant and went to Melville's home in the early hours of 13 March this year.

He told them he had five computers in the house and the whole family had access to them.

Asked if there was anything illegal on them, Melville told them: "Just the usual porn, adult porn."

Questioned as to whether there was anything else, he replied: "Maybe. About four years ago I was given some child images which I deleted. In my line of work this is a 'No' 'No'."

On Friday, Melville's defence agent, Colm Dempsey, told Sheriff Alistair Noble that Melville was "riddled with guilt" at the catastrophic effect his actions had had on himself, his family and friends. His successful career of 22 years was over.

His name has been added to the sex offenders register. He was known by his middle name of Mark while working.

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