School activist jailed for 18k child porn images

Terry Tweed was jailed for 26 months. Picture: comp

Terry Tweed was jailed for 26 months. Picture: comp

0
Have your say

A SCHOOL campaigner who downloaded nearly 18,000 indecent images of children has been jailed for 26 months.

Terry Tweed, 65, had accessed the child pornography over a five-year period with a third showing graphic images of abuse. Sheriff Nigel Ross told Tweed – a former Craigmillar community councillor and a key protester in the campaign to save Castlebrae High School from closure – that he had no choice but to send him to prison.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard yesterday that Tweed had accessed the images “all for his own use” and that no-one else was involved.

Sheriff Ross said: “It has been repeatedly said in these courts and elsewhere that merely taking part in this process – by looking at images and downloading them – is to 
participate in an industry which takes as its raw material the destruction of children’s lives.”

Police discovered the illegal images of children at his home in Duddingston Row, Craigmillar. Tweed admitted the offences at an earlier court hearing.

It emerged yesterday that he accessed nearly 18,000 indecent pictures between 2008 and 2013 – and almost 6000 of those were in the two most serious categories.

Sheriff Ross told Tweed: “I take into account your age and that you were previously of some assistance to the local community, a community which has quite rightly turned its back on you.”

Tweed was sentenced to 26 months in prison and placed on the sex offenders register for ten years. He was expressionless as he was led away to the cells.

Before the allegations came to light, he had been widely respected for his long-standing support of many local activities and projects.

As well as holding the post of secretary at Craigmillar Community Council, he was a senior member at PARC Craigmillar, the body spearheading a huge regeneration drive in the area.

It is understood Tweed was appointed as a company officer at PARC Craigmillar in January 2010, but he resigned from his role on September 29.

He was also a member of the Save The Brae campaign which successfully rescued Castlebrae Community High from closure.

His conviction has shocked the close-knit community.

Ward councillor Mike Bridgeman said he was “sickened” by Tweed’s crimes.

“I’m horrified to have learned what’s been going on with Tweed, as is the whole community,” he said. “It’s unbelievable, it’s just totally horrific and repulsive. He was trusted within the community. He didn’t work closely with children but he was on boards, he was a prominent community councillor.”

Susan Heron, a Craigmillar community activist, said: “My personal opinion is that [the sentence] is fairly lenient. As a community, I think a lot of people are in shock that this even happened, because of the type of person that he portrayed himself to be.

“I think it’s woken us up to the fact that, sad as it is, people aren’t who they say they are. That’s the real sadness for our community. When he comes out, he’ll have nowhere to go. His life will be ruined, and rightly so.”