Edinburgh youth worker who swapped child abuse images avoids jail

Lynch told police "I've never done anything" Picture; stock image
Lynch told police "I've never done anything" Picture; stock image
0
Have your say

A YOUTH worker caught swapping child abuse images with other perverts online and even encouraging one to rape a baby in disturbing Skype conversations walked free from court today after avoiding a jail term.

DOWNLOAD THE EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS APP ON ITUNES OR GOOGLE PLAY

Matthew Lynch, from Calder Grove in Edinburgh, told police “I’ve never done anything - I work with children” when they explained why his home was being raided in November last year.

But an investigation into the contents of his smartphone and laptop unmasked horrifying conversations with online perverts.

In one conversation another online user told Lynch he could have watched him with a “zero” - a codeword for a young child he was abusing - if he had been online.

Lynch asked the man if he had abused the child to which he replied “I would have been tempted if you would have been watching.”

Fiscal depute Saima Rasheed told Dundee Sheriff Court: “The accused then wrote ‘looks tasty’ - and asked how the man had abused the child.

“When he was told what had occurred he repled ‘wow’.

“His computers were forensically examined and six indecent images were recovered from Skype.

“They depict boys aged between three and six.

“Skype chat conversation logs were also found.

“They discuss sexual abuse of a child by another male.

“There were also chat logs on his iPhone.”

Lynch was employed as an assistant youth worker with the Dundee Carers Centre when his crime was uncovered.

He is listed on their website as having worked as part of their young carers project.

It is understood he left the charity within days of the police raid last November.

The organisation provides support, advocacy and training for those who provide unpaid care for family or friends - as well as organising short breaks for carers and those they care for.

Lynch, 24, pleaded guilty on indictment to charges of downloading child abuse images between March 17 and November 17 last year and distributing them on March 23 last year at an address in Dundee’s Portpatrick Terrace.

Defence solicitor Billy Rennie said: “He lived an isolated lifestyle and developed somewhat secretive relationships.

“Thats how this ultimately led to the offences in questions.

“In these discussions online he was to some extent let into a discussion about these images.

“This was with an individual he’d never met and whose name he didn’t even know.

“They were fairly graphic and horrific images.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “These are serious offences but in the circumstances I think I can deal with it by a community payback order.”

He imposed a community payback order with 200 hours unpaid work, two-and-a-half years supervision, an order to take part in a sex offenders rehabilitation programme and conduct requirements around his contact with children and internet use.

Lynch will also be on the sex offenders register for 30 months.