Edinburgh ex-Army pervert sent indecent photos to paedophile hunters

AN Army veteran was caught sending disgusting sexual pictures to a ‘14-year-old girl’, a court has heard.

By Alexander Lawrie
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 10:54 am
Behind the mask of respectability Purcell was sending indecent images
Behind the mask of respectability Purcell was sending indecent images

David Purcell, 50, contacted an online account apparently belonging to a teenager and sent her revolting videos of him performing solo sex acts on himself.

The pervert also asked the girl to send him indecent images of herself as well as repeatedly sending photos of his penis to the account over a three-week period earlier this year.

But Purcell was snared after it emerged he had not been messaging a young girl but in fact had been in contact with a member an the online paedophile hunter group.

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Members of the group attended at his former Edinburgh home with the intention of confronting Purcell about his online activities but they were informed by a family member he was not there at the time.

And after being informed of the group’s involvement Purcell, who served with the Motor Transport Platoon, subsequently handed himself into a local police station and confessed his crime.

Purcell pleaded guilty to sending sexual images over the internet to who believed was a 14-year old girl when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned to the dock for sentencing.

Sheriff Alistair Noble said: “It is recognised this is a serious matter. You engaged in sexual communication online with what you believed was a 14-year-old girl but it was in fact a decoy.

“But obviously you have had a productive life serving in the armed forces and what I propose to do here is impose a community payback order.”

He placed Purcell, currently of Kelso, Scottish Borders, on the Sex Offenders’ Register and for three years and ordered him to be supervised for the same period.

Purcell was also made subject to a conduct requirement requiring him not to delete any internet history and to hand over any devices for inspection when required to do so,

Defending solicitor Christopher MacFarlane said his client had served his country for 26 years as a member of the armed forces and the offence “could be properly described as a one-off”.

Mr MacFarlane added Purcell was on a “self-imposed ban from technology” and had discarded with his computer and mobile phone following his arrest.

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