Edinburgh crime: Police officer pleads guilty after being caught with shocking haul of child sex abuse images and videos

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Borders police sergeant appears in Edinburgh court

A police officer has pleaded guilty after he was caught with a shocking haul of child sex abuse images following a raid of his home by his colleagues.

Sergeant Clayton Lackenby was found to have collected thousands of pictures and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as two-years-old. Lackenby, 50, downloaded the horror collection over a three year period showing toddlers being raped by adults to a computer system unit at his former home in the Scottish Borders.

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The disgraced sergeant was immediately suspended from his role with Police Scotland and resigned soon after his arrest in July last year. The father-of-two appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today, Tuesday, November 21, where he pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children between May 4, 2019 and July 14, 2022.

Former police officer Clayton Lackenby, 50, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.Former police officer Clayton Lackenby, 50, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Former police officer Clayton Lackenby, 50, pictured outside Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Prosecutor Ross Price told the court Lackenby was a serving police sergeant at the time officers arrived at his former family home with a search warrant on July 14 last year. Mr Price said Lackenby, now of Hawick, was at home with his family at the time of the raid and three pieces of computer equipment were seized during the search of the property.

The fiscal depute said: “These were all subject to cyber crime examination and on the system unit there were 518 Category A accessible images, Category B accessible images 455 and Category C accessible images 1871. Mr Price told the court the police officer had also downloaded 219 videos depicting child sexual abuse with 85 rated as Category A - the worst end of the spectrum.”

The fiscal added: “On that device those images showed pictures and videos of boys and girls aged between two and 15 posing sexually and engaging in non-penetrative sexual activity with adults and other children. As well as engaging in penetrative sexual activity with adults and other children.”

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The Crown also moved for the forfeiture of all the electrical devices seized from the home. Sheriff Daniel Kelly told Lackenby: “As you will know I will have to defer this diet and call for a justice social work report. One of the consequences of you pleading guilty is that you will now be subject to the notification requirements and you will be required to notify the police of your name, address and other details.”

Lackenby was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a term still to be decided and full sentence was deferred to next month for reports. A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We acknowledge the outcome at court. He is no longer a serving officer.”