Galashiels: Man admits child pornography offences at Borders court

A GALASHIELS man has been warned he faces the prospect of another prison sentence for child pornography offences.

Thirty-nine-year-old Andrew Colvine pleaded guilty at Selkirk Sheriff Court to three charges of indecent images of under 18 years of age which happened between May 24 and November 24 last year.

He was found in possession of eight category B and C images which involved girls estimated between the ages of five and 14 in sexual poses.

Colvine, who gave an address in Galashiels, also distributed two of the images with another person on Kik social messaging site in which he talking about raping and carrying out sex acts on the girls.

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver pointed out Colvine, who was previously known as Andrew Robertson, was jailed 14 years ago for downloading child pornography at a local library and that he did not require background reports to send him back to prison.

But defence lawyer Colin Severin urged him to get a report before sentencing to establish whether any community-based disposals were available which would assist the rehabilitation of his client.

Sheriff Maciver agreed to the request and deferred sentence until December 13.

But he added that he regarded Colvine as “high risk” of re-offending and there was still a high likelihood of custody in the case.

The court heard that Colvine lived with his sister in Galashiels having previously resided in Newcastle.

But he moved back to Scotland following the break-up of his relationship with his partner.

Depute fiscal Joanne Waller explained that on September 27 last year he showed the partner a photograph of a child on his phone.

She explained: “The image was not indecent but it was not of a child he knew. The partner was aware of the accused’s past and found it strange and contacted the police.”

The enquiry was passed onto Police Scotland after Colvine had returned to Galashiels and on October 20 last year a search warrant was granted for his address in Galashiels.

A mobile phone lying on a couch was seized and following an initial examination it was found to be positive of the presence of indecent images with one category C and one category B.

The search also revealed a chat on the Kik message site between the accused and another user.

In total eight indecent images were found but only two were accessible.

The messages on June 27, 2020, on Kik involved a sexual conversation regarding children and the distribution of the images.

He was arrested and taken to Hawick Police Station where he confirmed the phone belonged to him and he had used a particular user name but denied the conversation had taken place or had distributed indecent images.

The fiscal said the images featured girls estimated to be aged between five and 14 engaged in sexual posing but there were no penetrative images.

The remaining six images – three Category B and three Category B – were inaccessible images.

Ms Waller said the search revealed the images had been distributed accompanied with messages where the accused was talking about rape and carrying out sexual acts on the girls describing the messages as “exceptionally crude”.

She added: “The messages displayed an aggressive sexual interest in the abuse of children.”

Sheriff Maciver said he was able to move straight to sentencing without reports as Colvine had been jailed for a similar offence in 2007.

But defence lawyer Colin Severin argued that the number of images recovered and their content was relatively low and that his client had never received the benefit of a community-based disposal where he would be able to receive help from a number of services.

Sheriff Maciver said: “I accept on your behalf the level of images was at the lower end of the scale. That being the case and despite the previous conviction of 14 years ago, with considerable hesitation I will call for a report and not send you to custody today.”

He warned that he regarded Colvine as high risk of re-offending and there was a high likelihood of custody in this case.

The sheriff added: “We will get the opportunity of a full report being prepared. This can investigate whether any rehabilitation work can be done to make the public and in particular children safe.”

Sentence was deferred until next month and Colvine released on bail and has been made subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.

Border Telegraph | News