Jonathan Crombie avoids jail for child porn

Jonathan Crombie of Crombie's Butchers, Edinburgh, who has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service after being caught in the shop with indecent images of children. Pic: Toby Williams
Jonathan Crombie of Crombie's Butchers, Edinburgh, who has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service after being caught in the shop with indecent images of children. Pic: Toby Williams
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Award-winning butcher, Jonathan Crombie has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for two years and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community for being in possession of indecent images of children

The 45-year old from Duddingston View, pled guilty on April 8 this year at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to downloading the images on a computer in his family’s shop on Broughton Street between September 5, 2005, and January 17 last year. Sentence was deferred for background reports.

The court heard previously that a computer seized by police held 71 still images and 15 movies, but only one image was accessible. Another piece of equipment, a hard-drive, contained 69 movies, but all were inaccessible.

Defence solicitor, Mark Harrower, told Sheriff Nigel Ross that Crombie had deleted the images himself and the hard-drive images had been inaccessible because of the age of the equipment. The lawyer also said the images were at the lower end of the scale of child pornography. Because of this, he said, he hoped the Sheriff could come to the view that on balance a Community Payback Order would be appropriate. He pointed out that his client had no previous convictions of any kind.

“Mr Crombie has suffered greatly because of this” said Mr Harrower. “He has resigned from the company for which he has worked for 30 years, having started as a child. He has also apologised to the staff.”

Mr Harrower added that the Social Work report assessed Crombie as being at low risk of re-offending, no risk of serious harm to the community and no risk to children. It asked that consideration be given to a community-based disposal.

Sheriff Ross told Crombie: “You pled guilty to possession of numbers of indecent images of children and, as has been said on many occasions, that is not a victimless crime. However, there are some mitigating circumstances in your case. The number is very low, compared with the norm in these cases and many of them were beyond your own ability to access. They were not shared by anyone and, most important, was the assessment of the report that you bear no danger to children and no risk of serious harm to the community.”

The Sheriff told Crombie: “I understand you are a man with health difficulties and some psychological problems.”

He placed him under the supervision of the Social Work Department for two years and ordered that he attend any courses determined by them and that he carry out 100 hours of unpaid work within a six month period.

Crombie was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for two years.

Sheriff Ross added: “I have taken into account the very significant effect this has had on you. You have lost your job and vocation”.