Maclennan trial: Abuse images on nursery computer

POLICE investigating allegations of sexual abuse at a nursery found indecent images of children on a computer seized from the nursery, a court has heard.

The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
The High Court in Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin

The computer had been donated to the Inverness-shire nursery by manager Mark Maclennan, 30, who denies raping a three-year-old boy at the nursery and sexually abusing a girl when she was aged between four and five.

A third charge of sexually abusing another three-year-old boy was withdrawn at the end of the Crown case and Maclennan was formally acquitted of that charge by trial judge John Morris QC.

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Maclennan, who is on trial at the High Court in Glasgow, also denies abusing a girl when she was aged between 12 and 15 at addresses in Stirling, Dunblane and Dunfermline and possessing indecent images of children.

Advocate depute Kath Harper, prosecuting, read out a joint minute of facts agree by the prosecution and defence to the jury.

This revealed that computer experts from the Police Scotland Specialist Crime Division examined the computer, which Maclennan brought into the nursery.

They found a total of 4,673 indecent images and seven indecent videos of children under the age of 16.

The court heard the majority of the images and videos were recovered from within a deleted folder.

Ms Harper said that searches made on the computer included terms associated with images of child abuse and added: “Examination of the computer revealed that the user was Mark Maclennan.”

The prosecutor added: “The indecent images and videos were on the computer and in the possession of the accused between February 22, 2009 and May 29, 2013.

“The vast majority were of girls aged about 12 to 16, but there were some indecent images of younger children under the age of 10.

A laptop computer was also seized from Maclennan’s then home at 28 A Alexandra Place, Stirling, and examined.

They found four indecent images of children under the age of 16 as well as search terms for child abuse images.

The trial before judge John Morris QC continues.