Pervert who worked at top Edinburgh school escapes jail sentence

Mary Erskine schoo Picture: Ian Georgeson
Mary Erskine schoo Picture: Ian Georgeson

A PERVERT who worked at one of the country’s top private schools has escaped a jail sentence after he was caught with horrific child rape movies.

Darren Scordecchia downloaded the sickening films and pictures showing youngsters as young as eight-years-old being abused by adults.

Scordecchia stored the abuse footage on his home computer and used file names including ‘virgin angels’, ‘good daughter - anal with dad’ and ‘pre-teen Lolita’ to classify the images.

The 35-year-old was found to have several Category A films - the worst end of the spectrum - and a number of Category C still images hidden on computer equipment.

He also had one Category A film and a further 16 Category B and C pictures stored on a hard drive police officers found at his plush Edinburgh home last year.

Scordecchia was working as a technical support analyst at the capital’s fee-paying Mary Erskine School and Stewart Melville College when he was caught with the images.

Following his arrest the school worker was immediately suspended from his position with Mary Erskine School and Stewart Melville College where non-boarding pupils pay up to £11,000 per year to attend.

He was subsequently sacked from his position at the school following an internal investigation in June 2017.

He had previously pleaded guilty to an amended charge of possessing indecent images of children at an address at the city’s Trinity area when he appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned for sentencing yesterday.

Sheriff Norman McFadyen told the school pervert “the possession of the material requires the court to consider a custodial sentence” but stopped short of jailing him.

Instead the sheriff ordered Scordecchia to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and placed him on a supervision order for 12 months.

He was also placed him on the sex offenders register for 12 months and handed out a year-long conduct requirement banning him from owning devices which can connect to the internet without seeking prior approval.

Previously fiscal depute Aidan Higgins told the court police officers executed a search warrant on May 25 last year after they had received intelligence that child abuse images had been downloaded at the address.

Mr Higgins said: “The accused was present [during the search] and he said he used the internet every day and had seen indecent images of children within his home.

“The computer equipment was seized from the property and sent for analysis. A number of images and movies showing indecent images of children were recovered.”

Mr Higgins said five movies were found on the computer equipment with the file names including ‘Emma - 8-yr-old model’, ‘Daphne - 9-yrs-old’ and ‘pre-teen’.

A hard drive was also seized by police and one Cat A movie and 16 Cat B and C images of child abuse were subsequently discovered.

The prosecutor added the worst of the movies depicted “penetrative activity with male and female children between the ages of seven and 12 being penetrated by adults”.

Another horrific movie showed girls between the ages of 10 and 12 “engaging in penetrative sexual activity between themselves”.

Solicitor Andrew Houston, defending, said his client, of Laichpark Road, Edinburgh, was receiving “specialist counselling” and has been voluntarily engaging with the Stop It Now organisation since June last year.

Scordecchia admitted to possessing indecent images of children at an address at Trinity Road, Edinburgh, between April 1 and May 25 last year.

A spokesperson for Mary Erskine School and Stewart Melville College said: “Darren Scordecchia was employed as an ICT technician at ESMS from 2004 until 2017.

“When the police identified that he had been found in possession of indecent images of children, on his home computer, unconnected with his employment, he was immediately suspended from work and later dismissed following a disciplinary hearing.

“As with all employees at ESMS, he was a member of the national PVG scheme. He did not work with children at the schools.

“Parents and staff at ESMS were informed of our actions at the time.

“We were appalled to learn of his behaviour, which we find abhorrent.

“The school conforms to the most stringent safeguarding measures to ensure that all appointed employees are suitable to work in an environment in which young people can thrive safely and happily.