Child abuse football coach jailed after vigilante group sting

A youth football coach who was jailed last year for possessing child abuse images is back behind bars after being caught in a vigilante group sting.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 6:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 9:25 am

Craig Raeburn was caught with hundreds of images and videos of children being abused when police raided his home in 2016.

Raeburn, who coached youngsters at Cockenzie Star, was jailed for 14 months and placed on the sex offenders register for ten years after pleading guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last April.

But just months after his release from prison the former NHS manager contacted what he believed was a 12-year-old boy called ‘Cameron Scott’ on the app Skype.

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Raeburn from Port Seton, East Lothian, then sent images of his penis to the schoolboy and also made sexual comments to him in messages through Skype and on the popular Whats App site.

But the young lad turned out to be a decoy set up by the internet vigilante group Wolf Pack Hunters UK who subsequently handed over all the “disturbing” messages to the police.

Raeburn pleaded guilty to sending pictures and messages of an explicit nature to a boy called Cameron Scott between March 17 and 28 this year when he appeared from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

Fiscal depute Fraser Mathieson told the court a member of the Wolf Pack Hunters UK had set up a bogus child account on Skype in March this year and Raeburn made contact just four days later.

Mr Mathieson said: “The group (Wolf Pack Hunters) makes use of decoys who are adults who create online profiles on chat sites on social media and adopt the persona of a child.

“A member set up the profile of a 12-year-old boy on Skype on March 13 and on March 17 he received a message from the accused.”

The fiscal said over the following days Raeburn sent the 12-year-old boy numerous messages including a picture of a penis and a second image of an erect penis.

The disgraced footie coach also swapped phone numbers with the boy and began making comments on the What’s App site about the “mutual caressing of (each others) bodies” and engaging in “oral sex” and “full sex”.

Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC deferred sentence to later this month for the preparation of reports and for a risk assessment to be carried out.

He also placed 54-year-old Raeburn on the sex offenders register and remanded him in custody.

Sheriff O’Grady said: “Looking at the disturbing nature of these offences, taken along with the previous convictions, it seems I might require a social work report and a risk assessment before I proceed.”

A plea of not guilty to making arrangements to meet the boy at the capital’s Waverley Station with the intention of engaging in sexual activity with or in the presence of the child was accepted as part of a plea bargain.

A not guilty plea to Raeburn breaching his Sex Offenders Supervision Order (SOPO) by being in possession of an iPad between March 17 and 28 this year was also accepted by the Crown.

Raeburn was jailed for 14 months last April after he was a caught with more than 1400 child abuse images and 20 revolting videos - some at the most extreme end of the spectrum - despite his attempts to delete most of the files.

But officers used specialist computer software to recover most of the evidence and associated file names.

He was placed on the sex offenders register for ten years and handed a five-year SOPO following his release from prison.

Raeburn was subsequently sacked from his position as a practitioner services manager with the NHS following last year’s conviction.

He no longer has any involvement with local youth football club Cockenzie Star.

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