Angus man found with child porn avoids jail

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A wind turbine boss today (Monday) dodged jail after he was found with an enormous stash of more than 20,000 child abuse images.

John Spink’s house in Arbroath was raided by police last year following a tip-off.

Spink, who travelled Europe as a site manager for a leading wind turbine manufacturing firm, had his laptop, iPad and external hard drive seized by police.

A forensic examination revealed more than 20,000 still images and more than 100 videos of child abuse - some at the most horrifying level - as well as two videos involving a woman and a horse.

Spink - who was previously convicted of a horror assault that left his victim with damage to his retinas - was told he would have gone to jail but for the fact he had been suffering undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder at the time.

Fiscal depute Kirsten Letford told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The accused is 45 and is employed as a manager for a wind turbine company and works abroad for periods.

“He has four previous convictions - none analogous to this but one on indictment for assault to severe injury that resulted in a £3000 fine and £2000 compensation.

“At 8.20am on February 17 last year police attended his home to execute a search warrant.

“An examination uncovered 16,873 indecent images of children on the laptop as well as 103 videos.

“On his iPad there were 55 indecent images and on the hard drive there were 4823 indecent images and 17 videos.

“An examination of the search terms on the iPad shows he had searched for indecent images.

“There were videos on both the laptop and the hard drive showing bestiality involving a woman and a horse.”

Spink, of Cairnie Street, Arbroath, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of downloading indecent images of children and possessing extreme pornography depicting bestiality.

The offences were committed between April 2015 and February 2016 at his home address.

Defence solicitor Nicola Brown said: “He has obtained new employment in Norwich if he avoids custody today.

“He will not go offshore or travel outwith Britain in that employment.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown imposed a community payback order with two years supervision and said Spink will also be required to take part in a sex offenders rehabilitation programme.

He said: “Ordinarily possession of indecent photographs of children in the fairly large quantities that you had would result in a prison sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances.

“In your case I find that there are exceptional circumstances in the fact you had an undiagnosed psychiatric condition.

“I am satisfied that you were behaving otherwise than you would have and that that was attributable to the psychiatric condition.

“Every single one of these images represented the actual abuse of a real child and to that extent it is deplorable.

“The court disapproves strongly of these images and their downloading.”