Edinburgh crime: Computer expert Damian Andrews jailed after sending messages to schoolgirl

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Andrews was snared after police found vile chat logs on a mobile phone

A computer specialist who changed his name in a bid to hide a past child abuse conviction has been jailed after he sent sexual messages to a teenage schoolgirl.

Damian Andrew, 54, sent Snapchat posts to a 15-year-old victim including asking her if she would "dress like a slut” if they ever met.

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Andrews was snared after police found vile chat logs on a mobile phone he had stashed in a cooker hood at his flat in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

Damian Andrews has been jailedDamian Andrews has been jailed
Damian Andrews has been jailed | Alexander Lawrie

Police found Andrews had deleted the messages from the device but a cyber crime investigation proved he had been sending the messages to the girl in February last year.

Andrews was known as Damian Lynch when he was convicted four years ago of sending naked images and sexual messages to the online profiles of two schoolgirls in 2018.

He escaped a jail term and was placed on the sex offenders register for three years and ordered to stay away from public areas when children were present.

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Andrews returned to court last month where he stood trial after denying he had sent sexual communications to a 15-year-old girl on February 28 last year.

Despite his claims of innocence a jury found him guilty by majority decision after deliberating for around 90 minutes.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss jailed the computer expert for 28 months backdated to June last year and placed him on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The jury was told police turned up Andrews’ home and following a search seized a number of electronic devices including three mobile phones.

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Andrews voluntarily handed all his devices over but officers believed there was a hidden phone in the flat after finding an empty box for an iPhone 12.

Officers also activated the Find My iPhone application on an iPad belonging to Andrews which showed an outstanding device was still within the property.

Andrews denied any knowledge of a hidden device but eventually confessed to police he had placed the mobile in the cooker hood in his kitchen.

He told cops he had stashed the work phone in the unusual hiding place to stop him using it while he was not working.

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Following a cyber crime examination it was found the device contained 52 deleted sexual Snapchat messages between Andrews and a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

The messages included him asking her if she “would you dress like a slut” if they ever met. Andrews claimed a second hand mobile phone he had bought already held the illicit chat and was downloaded to the phone when he connected the devices to his iCloud.