Sex Offender Has Computer Ban Eased To Play Online Games

A SEX offender in Scotland has had his computer ban eased – in order that he can play online games to stay calm.

Martin Florence, 44, was put on a rehabilitation order for sex offenders after admitting to possessing hundreds of childhood indecent photographs and violating his bail conditions.

This prevents him from possessing or using computer equipment or installing applications without supervisory officer prior permission. But when a court learned that he sometimes felt nervous and wanted to play games to keep calm, he was allowed to continue playing Heartland ‘s fantasy game and online poker.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said he would only allow him to continue playing the two games, but he would comply with any other software order he put on him.

The Dundee Sheriff Court learned how the police went to the offenders home after receiving reports that pornographic photographs had been downloaded at the premises to a computer. Two computers were confiscated and a total of 341 photographs and five videos of children between the ages of six and 14 were found to contain them on inspection.

Florence, who at the time was working as a taxi driver in Forfar, admitted that between 4 August 2016 and 5 December 2018 at Westfield, Kirriemuir, he took or allowed obscene photographs or pseudo photographs of children to be taken.

He also confessed to violating a bail condition at the same address between 7 and 11 December 2018 by possessing an Amazon Fire without notifying the police.

Sheriff Carmichael told Florence: “These were serious offences but the number of images was not high fortunately. It is in the zone of a custodial sentence but I am satisfied I can go down a non-custodial disposal route.”

He said he would also take into account the recommendations of the psychological and social work reports and put Florence under oversight for three years on a community payback agreement with the programme provision to engage in the Moving Forward Making Changes programme and a drug treatment agreement.

He also introduced a conduct provision regarding the use of electronic equipment and software, informing him before possessing or installing devices and software, he must request prior approval from supervising officers.

Florence was warned: “This is a direct alternative to prison.”