A NURSERY worker who filmed his abuse of two young boys and added it to his “vile” collection of child pornography has been jailed for eight years.
Alexander Mortimer, 28, was also ordered by a judge to be kept under “robust” supervision for seven years at the end of his prison term.
Speaking at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Stacey told him: “You are plainly a danger to children … what you did was a gross breach of trust.”
She added that she had viewed some of the images, which she described as “vile”, and said it was clearly necessary for the protection of the public that Mortimer be monitored when he came out of jail.
Mortimer, of Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, admitted charges of sexually assaulting the boys, aged three and two, between April 2011 and January this year, taking indecent photographs of them, and possessing downloaded child pornography.
The assaults were discovered after police obtained a search warrant for Mortimer’s home as part of an investigation into internet child pornography.
After seizing computer equipment, officers discovered almost 18,000 still and 582 moving images. One of the videos contained footage which the court was told was “among the most depraved acts ever seen by examining officers”.
Mortimer also had photographs and videos which showed the abuse of two young boys by an unidentified male.
Advocate-depute Alison Di Rollo said that when detained, Mortimer had a watch which resembled one worn by the abuser in the images. Police also recovered from his home T-shirts and a jacket similar to those worn by the male.
Ms Di Rollo said: “In various of the images, a male hand can be seen. Police took photographs of the accused’s hands.
“These photographs and those from the accused’s computers were examined and compared by Professor Susan Black, consultant forensic anthropologist, who identified a number of similarities … and an absence of dissimilarities which, she concluded, are difficult to explain reasonably if the accused and the person in the photographs are not one and the same.”
Further “painstaking and detailed investigations” by the police identified the children and various locations where Mortimer had photographed and filmed them. Those included toilets in supermarkets and at a funfair in Strathclyde Park.
Ms Di Rollo said the boys, who are brothers, had been enrolled at the nursery where Mortimer worked and he had met their mother, a single parent. She was finding it difficult to cope, and he offered to help.
Ms Di Rollo added: “While neither of the boys has come to any known long-term physical harm, the psychological effects on them cannot yet be assessed.
“The offences have also had a wider impact in the community, generating significant anxiety among parents of children who have been in contact with, or in the care of, the accused.
“South Lanarkshire Council has set up support for the affected children and parents.”
The defence counsel, Brian McConnachie, QC, said Mortimer had been abused as a child, which did not excuse his conduct but might explain it.
“He has made it clear he is anxious to engage in work in relation to his offending as soon as possible,” said Mr McConnachie.