Retired fire chief caught with child sex abuse images on phone escapes jail

The former crew manager tried to hide the images by using file cleaning software on his phone.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A retired fire chief has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register after he was caught with vile child sex abuse images.

Jamie McMurtrie - who had 30 years service with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service - was found to have downloaded indecent images of children to his mobile phone when police raided his home last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The experienced former crew manager retired from duty in 2016 and had been working as a Heritage volunteer with the fire service between June 2022 and June this year.

Jamie McMurtrie had images on his phoneJamie McMurtrie had images on his phone
Jamie McMurtrie had images on his phone

McMurtrie, 58, admitted possessing the shocking pictures when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he was back in the dock for sentencing on Thursday.

Prosecutor Chelsea Martin told the court Police Scotland officers received intelligence that child abuse images had been accessed at McMurtrie’s home at the Murrayfield area of the capital.

Ms Martin said officers attended the property with a search warrant and found McMurtrie at home with his wife at around 8am on August 24 last year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The fiscal depute said a mobile phone was seized and following a cyber crime examination it was found that two indecent images of children rated at Category C had been stored on the device.

The court was also told McMurtrie had attempted to cover his offending by using file cleaning software to delete the images from his phone.

Solicitor Andrew Houston said his client was engaging with the sex offenders rehabilitation organisation Stop It Now and had “fully cooperated with police” during the investigation.

Mr Houston said: “Following Mr McMurtrie’s arrest he seems to have taken entirely appropriate steps to deal with the issues underlying these offences.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“He demonstrates and shows an appropriate level of remorse and insight and he has participated in a programme with the organisation Stop It Now.”

Sheriff Ian Anderson said: “I am going to follow the recommendations in the report and I have taken into account the images involved.

“The deletion of the images is to some extent a worse offence but nevertheless I am going to impose a community payback order on you today as an alternative to custody.

“This is an alternative to custody due to the nature of the offence.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sheriff Anderson placed McMurtrie on a six month supervision order and issued a conduct requirement that prohibits him from owning devices that can access the internet without prior permission.

McMurtrie was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for six months and was told he is banned from having any contact with children under the age of 18 unless authorised by his supervising officer.

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson confirmed McMurtrie is no longer employed by the service after retiring seven years ago.

McMurtrie pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children at his home address between May 16 and August 4 last year. He also admitted to a charge of using software to delete the images from his mobile phone between July 29 and August 2 last year.