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A paedophile who stashed horrific images of children being abused in the living room of his home has avoided jail by a “whisker”.
David Peacock was told by a sheriff that he was only spared a prison sentence because of sentencing guidelines laid down by the High Court.
Paisley Sheriff Court had previously heard that the 52-year-old had two laptops containing 42 sick images of children – some as young as four – in his living room.
He appeared in court for sentencing yesterday and was placed on a Community Payback Order for three years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.
Sheriff David Pender told his defence agent: “If I follow the guidelines then he misses custody by a whisker.”
He added: “The High Court has passed down guidelines for offences of this type.
“Considering the number of images involved, imprisonment would not be an appropriate disposal, but you very well could find yourself there if you fail to comply with this order.”
Cops raided Peacock’s home following a tip off that he was hoarding horrible images.
The creep was on holiday at the time but later surrendered to police, saying he, “could have run away, but I’ve done the right thing.”
He pled guilty to taking, or permitting to be taken, indecent photographs of children on July 20, 2013, at his Johnstone home.
The court was told previously that a total of 42 still images of children being abused were uncovered when devices were examined by Police Scotland’s cyber crime specialists.
A Samsung laptop was examined and contained 29 images, five at category A – the worst type – five at category B and 19 at category C.
The second black laptop was discovered to have 11 still indecent images on it, one at category A, one at category B and nine at category C. The overall figure included two duplicates.
The court heard how one of the worst images showed a boy aged between six and eight performing a sex act on an adult male.
Another sickening picture showed a boy between four and six lying naked on a bed with two men standing over him.
Peacock was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for three years and will also be under the supervision of social workers for the same period.
His access to the internet will also be strictly monitored and he was banned from working with children.
Shouts of ‘beast’ came from the public benches as the sentence was read out.