No jail for man with child porn

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A WORLD renowned oil industry expert caught with almost 50,000 pornographic photos of children on his computer has escaped a lengthy jail sentence.

Pervert Liam Gibson, 56, avoided being sent to prison after a court heard how he helped police investigating child pornography websites.

The court heard how Gibson was one of the few businessmen in the world who has the experience and knowledge to move oil rigs.

But he also had a secret double life in which he logged on to illegal internet sites to download tens of thousands of indecent images.

Gibson was sentenced to three years’ probation and 150 hours’ community service at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday.

Sheriff James Scott passed the sentence on Gibson after hearing how he provided full co-operation to detectives who are trying to bring online paedophiles to justice.

His defence QC Gordon Jackson told the court: “He has fully co-operated with the police and with the Crown. We know that the police are content with his level of co-operation and with what he has told them.”

Gibson, now of Biggar, Lanarkshire, pleaded guilty last month to charges from May, 2011, of possessing indecent images of children at his then home in Pathhead, Midlothian.

Sentence was deferred for the court to obtain reports.

The former Merchant Navy sailor owns Gibson Marine, which operates throughout the world in transporting rigs to oil fields.

But away from work Gibson would trawl the internet for sickening pornographic images, and used file-sharing software in which he exchanged shocking photographs with other individuals.

He was caught after Lothian and Borders Police raided his Pathhead home in May 2011, and discovered 49,809 indecent images on his computer.

Some of the images seized by police were at level five – the category deemed by authorities to be most serious. However, the overwhelming majority were at the lower end of the scale.

Yesterday, Mr Jackson told the court that his client’s personal life lay in ruins as a consequence of being arrested.

His wife had left him after he confessed to what he was doing. Mr Jackson said that Gibson had became involved in a site which was “like Facebook” for people interested in child pornography. He was able to access images from this website, which wasn’t named in court. The lawyer said his client had attempted to delete the more serious photographs because he didn’t like them.

He added: “He has been very frank and not in the slightest bit secretive.

“He always intended to plead guilty and I have been involved in negotiations with the procurator fiscal from shortly after his first appearance in court.”

Mr Jackson also said that the information that Gibson gave police meant that he was entitled to a significant discount in his sentencing.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Scott said Mr Jackson had persuaded him not to send Gibson to prison. However, he warned Gibson that he would be sent to jail if he accessed internet child pornography again.

He added: “I am persuaded that the most appropriate way to deal with this is to impose a probation order.

“The probation order is for three years. You will also perform 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.”