Pensioner sent lover ‘porn’ photo of girl age 3

Melville admitted her guilt at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Ciaran Donnelly
Melville admitted her guilt at the High Court in Edinburgh. Picture: Ciaran Donnelly
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An elderly woman took an indecent photo of a little girl and sent it to her younger lover who had urged her to look forward to carrying out the rape of a child.

Muriel Melville told Michael Leith during an exchange of messages that “in a way” she would rather have intercourse with children than with adults.

It’s called child porn. Do make sure you delete

Michael Leith

Leith, 48, had urged the older woman to look forward to raping and abusing a girl together with him.

Melville, 73, mentioned that she had thought about desire to abuse children and how exciting that might be, and that her feelings for child sex were “very much alive in me now”, a court heard.

Melville, of Dunfermline, assaulted the child aged three at a house in the Fife town and removed her lower clothing and exposed and photographed her before sending the image to Leith.

The High Court in Edinburgh was told that the pair had met on an electronic forum called “AYI”. Advocate depute Keith Stewart QC explained that it was an abbreviation for the term “Are You interested?”.

He said Melville was in her 70s and Leith was 47. The prosecutor added: “Some time after making contact with her, Leith travelled to Dunfermline and visited Melville at home. They had sexual intercourse.”

Mr Stewart said that following the tryst, the pair exchanged messages with each other with Leith persistently raising raping and sexually abusing a child.

In April last year he sent Melville a text message saying: “I think of us raping (her) together xxx.”

The prosecutor said: “The exchange of messages proceeded with Leith urging Melville to look forward to carrying out the rape and sexual abuse.”

He asked her to provide pictures of a girl in sexualised poses and congratulated her on obtaining an image and sending it to him. Mr Stewart said from “time to time” Melville expressed reservations about the behaviour Leith was urging her to adopt.

During April last year she referred him to a sentence of two years imprisonment for possession of indecent images.

Leith replied: “Yes it’s called reproducing child porn do make sure you delete !!!!! xxx.”

The prosecutor said that during the exchange, in answer to a question from Leith, Melville said she wanted him to have sex with the child.

Mr Stewart said an image of the little girl was found on a mobile phone belonging to her.

First offender Melville, who worked as a sales assistant, admitted assaulting the child, sending grossly offensive or indecent messages and possessing and distributing indecent photos. The assault occurred between July 2013 and April last year.

Leith, described as a prisoner in Perth, admitted inciting the actions of Melville. He pled guilty to attempting to conspire to rape and sexually assault a young child and to take indecent photographs of her between July 2013 and July last year.

The court heard that the hotel night porter was also a first offender.

The judge, Lord Brailsford, deferred sentence.