Edinburgh crime: Newtongrange man Alan Wilson avoids jail after being caught with horror haul of child abuse images

A pervert who claimed he was searching the internet for a school uniform for a young relative when he was caught with a horror haul of child abuse images has escaped a jail sentence.

By Alexander Lawrie
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 2:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 2:58 pm
Alan Wilson

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Alan Wilson, 45, said he had been browsing the web for the children’s clothing when he stumbled across indecent pictures and videos of young children being sexually abused.

Wilson was found to have 4222 images and 173 videos of abused children hidden away on six devices when police raided his home in Newtongrange, Midlothian, in 2020.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Police officers seized a total of 15 electronic devices including five mobile phones, four laptops, three hard drives, two tablets and two USB sticks.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told 18 images and one video found on the devices were classified as Category A - the most depraved end of the spectrum.

Wilson had previously pleaded guilty to possessing the disturbing material and he returned to the dock for sentencing today.

Prosecutor Alan Wickham said police had been tipped off that indecent images of children were being downloaded at Wilson’s home and officers carried out a raid on the property on September 4, 2020.

Mr Wickham said: “Police found the accused, his father and [a young relative] within.

“While being cautioned the accused said he had been looking for a school uniform for his [young relative] and there may be indecent images of children on his laptop in his room.”.

Solicitor Callum Turner, defending, said since his guilty plea his client had been forced to move away to the north of England after his home had been targeted by vigilantes.

The lawyer said the “reprisals” also included Wilson being threatened online and that his home had been damaged by protesters

Mr Turner added Wilson is “embarrassed” for committing the offence and the first offender is currently unemployed after resigning from his employment.

Sheriff John Mundy said: “This is a very serious offence, but you know that. It is the sort of offence which often could attract a custodial sentence.

“In this case I take into account you have no previous convictions and further take into account that you cooperated with the social enquiry report.

“I am persuaded, but only just, to impose a non-custodial sentence.”

Wilson was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for two years and also placed under the supervision of the social work department for the same period.

His name will also be forwarded to Scottish Ministers to be included on the list of those who are banned from working with children and vulnerable groups in the future.

Wilson pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children at his home between August 4, 2019 and September 4, 2020.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.