A SEX offender who claimed he was running an online sting to catch paedophiles has been jailed for 15 months after he was found in possession of more than 1,000 indecent images of children.
When he was first quizzed by police officers almost two years ago, Shaun Stephen Marett claimed he had been posing as a young boy online and then ‘blackmailing’ men who had asked him for naked pictures, the Royal Court heard.
He claimed he threatened to expose the men online and was doing it as a ‘deterrent’ because, according to the 22-year-old, he could not ‘stand paedophiles or rapists’.
But a police investigation found more than 1,500 indecent images of children, aged between two and 16, on his laptop and iPod – 1,023 of which were unique, the rest were duplicates.
A total of 164 of the images fell into the most serious category.
Crown Advocate Richard Pedley also told the court that detectives analysed more than 4,000 lines of Skype chat with more than 600 users in which it was ‘demonstrated that the defendant requested and encouraged users to send him indecent images of children’.
Detectives also recovered a charred and melted memory stick which the defendant had destroyed, but admitted contained more images.
During police interview, Marett, who has no previous convictions, insisted he was running a deterrent operation online to seek out paedophiles and, in the process of doing so, was sent indecent images.
Marett later admitted 11 counts of inciting others to send indecent images of children, one count of distributing indecent images of children and two counts of making or downloading indecent images of children.
Advocate Jane Grace, defending, said her client was 19 and 20 during his offending and should be treated as a ‘young adult’.
Marett was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.
Jurats Paul Nicolle and Robert Christensen were sitting.Subscribe to our Newsletter