A TEENAGER from West Lothian went onto the dark web hunting for extreme pornography, a court has heard.
Lee Little downloaded dozens of vile images of under-age children being raped and sexually abused.
The 19-year-old appeared for sentencing at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday after earlier admitting a single charge of possessing indecent images of children between January 2016 and June last year.
His not guilty plea to possessing extreme pornography of an adult female engaging in sexual activity with a dog was accepted by the prosecution.
Little was caught after police, acting on information, raided his home in Kirknewton, West Lothian, and seized computer equipment.
Neil Stewart, defending, said Little was aged 17 when he committed the offence and was now in a supportive relationship with a baby on the way.
He said: “He accepts that he looked at the images and advises that he was looking really at legal images and videos,
“He was encouraged by friends to go onto the dark web, although that’s no excuse.
“He eventually came across these images more out of morbid interest than anything.”
Mr Stewart added: “He is a young man who accepts that the offence is serious.
“He has since stopped looking at these things since this offence came to light.
“He has shown a great deal of insight and accepts that offences such as these are not victimless crimes.”
Mr Stewart said Little had been assessed as being at low risk of reoffending and was keen to address any issues that he might have.
Sheriff Douglas Kinloch placed Little under social work supervision for 18 months.
He said Little would have his name added to the sex offenders’ register for the same length of time.
Sheriff Kinloch told Little: “You succumbed to temptation at the age of 17 and started downloading explicit material. You thereby committed a criminal offence and you must understand that sometimes people receive a prison sentence for this.
“In your case, although a small amount of material was of a more extreme type, I find it appropriate to impose a community sentence.”
The sheriff told Lee his internet access would be restricted and monitored as part of a conduct requirement and he was not allowed to alter his browsing history or possess file deletion software.