Edinburgh hairdresser caught with more than 50,000 child sex abuse images

AN Edinburgh hairdresser who was caught with a massive stash of child abuse images is facing a jail sentence.

Thursday, 17th October 2019, 3:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 4:40 pm
Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Robert Swan, 55, has admitted collecting more than 50,000 horrific images of children being sexually abused over an eight-year period.

The pervert began storing the disgusting pictures on computer equipment in 2010 and was only caught out when police raided his capital home last year.

Swan, a father-of-two daughters, was said to have a sexual fascination with boys and girls aged around 14-years-old and he was found to have downloaded a total of 56,906 indecent images of children.

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Last month Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard Swan was caught with 3513 pictures classified as Category A - the worst end of the spectrum.

The recently retired crimper also possessed 4812 Category B images and he also downloaded around 48,500 pictures at Category C to his computer.

Swan was due to be sentenced at the capital court on Thursday but Sheriff Kenneth McGowan was told social work reports had not been prepared in time.

The sheriff had previously placed Swan on the Sex Offenders Register for a term still to be decided and deferred sentence again to next month.

Previously prosecutor Ross Carvel told the court police turned up at Swan’s home in the Gorgie area of the capital in July last year following intelligence images were being downloaded at the address.

Mr Carvel said when police were allowed entry to the flat they found Swan and his two daughters within the property and the officers proceeded to seize three pieces of computer equipment.

The fiscal said: “The officers spoke to the panel [Swan] and he answered a number of questions relating to the internet and usage of the devices.

“At that stage the only question he elected not to answer was when he was asked if he had ever seen indecent images of children on the devices and he replied ‘I will not answer that one’.”

A computer and two hard drives belonging to Swan were confiscated by police and the court was told a total of 56,906 indecent images of children were discovered.

The fiscal added: “All of the images of children depict predominantly of boys and girls aged approximately between 14 and 16-years-old.”

The court was told Swan is a first offender and had recently retired as a hairdresser after 13 years in the business.

Yesterday defending solicitor Andrew Mellor said he would reserve his mitigation to the sentencing diet.

Swan admitted to possessing indecent images of children at his home address between April 20, 2010 and July 5 last year.

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