Convicted rapist caught with indecent images of children

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A CONVICTED rapist, who was caught with 1430 indecent images of children while at liberty on licence with two years of a 12-year sentence still to run, has been remitted to the High Court.

Thomas Hazlett, 71, a prisoner in Saughton, pled guilty previously at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to being in possession of the images on his computer at a house in Redford Road on May 31 this year.

Sentence was deferred until today for background reports.

Police officers made an unannounced visit to the house and asked to look at his computer. He agreed and when the computer was examined the paedophile images were discovered.

Hazlett has two convictions for rape. In 1997, he was jailed for eight years for rape and four years into that sentence he was convicted of the previous rape of two young sisters while babysitting and sentenced to 12 years.

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver told Hazlett: “You have placed yourself in a very difficult position. You have two serious previous

convictions for sexual offending at the very top end of the scale. You were released on licence and while on licence, bearing in mind it was for raping under-age persons, you then accessed indecent images on your computer of under-age girls. By so doing you have, in your particular circumstances, created a very serious position in terms of public risk and particular risk to young girls”.

The Sheriff said he was not remitting Hazlett to the High Court for sentencing on the indecent images charge, but for it to decide what to do about the two years he still had to serve of the 12-year sentence.

He added: “I expect you will be returned to me when they have decided on that and I will have to consider sentencing on this matter. I will impose an extended sentence which will have a custody part and an extension part, which could be up to five years and that will take effect from the end of the custody part. hat is a decision I still have to make after the decision of the High Court on how much of the unexpired section they impose”.

Sentencing on the indecent images charge was continued to November 18.