A YOUTH coach with a city football club who was caught filming a 13-year-old boy showering at a sports centre has been jailed for 18 months.
Scott Ferrie, who was a coach with Tynecastle FC, had cut a hole in a toiletries bag to conceal a camera phone and slid the makeshift device under a shower cubicle at the David Lloyd Centre, Glasgow Road.
The 29-year-old, who was also a learning assistant at Firhill High School, was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday and banned from ever working with children again.
Today, it emerged that Ferrie used the excuse that his mother was seriously ill after learning police were waiting to detain him outside a fundraising bag pack for the club at a supermarket.
Team officials, worried about his mother’s health, repeatedly tried to call Ferrie over the next few days when he had actually been arrested by officers after slipping out of the store.
Ferrie was caught after the terrified youngster he tried to film in the showers reported the incident to police and officers traced Ferrie from his Hearts tattoo. Officers examined the computer at his family home in Pentland View, Currie, and found 576 images of children, mostly young boys, aged between eight and 14, including a youngster being tied up and sexually abused by adults.
Officers seized the toiletries bag and the iPhone, but there was no footage recovered from the device.
Ferrie pleaded guilty last month to charges of filming, or attempting to film, the 13-year-old at the sports centre on June 25 last year. He also admitted being in possession of indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children.
Sentencing had been delayed for reports on Ferrie to be compiled for yesterday’s hearing.
Ferrie’s solicitor, Graeme Runcie, told the court that a report had concluded that Ferrie had accepted “partial responsibility” for his actions, but that was “inaccurate”.
“He does accept responsibility,” Mr Runcie added.
Mr Runcie said that his client felt “genuine remorse” for what he did, while “there does not appear to be damaging consequences or long-term effects” on the victim in the incident.
The solicitor added that Ferrie might benefit from counselling rather than imprisonment, where he would be jailed alongside other sex offenders.
Mr Runcie said his client was a first offender, had a low risk of reoffending and was being supported by his mother and stepfather, who were both in court.
The court also heard that the parents of youngsters at Tynecastle FC had once complained about his behaviour on a trip that the club had made to Amsterdam in 2009.
The team had missed a flight back to Scotland, with Ferrie serving a suspension while the matter was investigated.
Passing sentence, Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC said: “In order to reflect society’s disapproval with these crimes, I can only impose a custodial sentence on you.”
Ferrie was placed on the sex offenders register for ten years.
Douglas Dalgleish, chairman of the Tynecastle club, was in court to see Ferrie sentenced.
He said: “I wanted to see and hear what had transpired for myself. He was someone I knew as an associate, who I had in my own house. I never thought for a moment he could be involved in something like this.”