Oil industry expert escapes jail sentence over child porn

A WORLD renowned oil industry expert caught with almost 50,000 pornographic photos of children on his computer has avoided a lengthy jail sentence.

Liam Gibson, 56, avoided being sent to prison after a court heard how he has given invaluable help to police investigating child porn web sites.

Gibson, now of Biggar, Lanarkshire, pleaded guilty last month to charges of possessing indecent images of children at his then home in Pathhead, Midlothian.

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The court heard how he was one of the few businessmen in the world who has the experience and knowledge to move oil rigs.

He was today sentenced to three years probation and 150 hours community service at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Sheriff James Scott passed the sentence on Gibson after hearing how the tycoon provided full co-operation to detectives who are trying to bring on line perverts to justice.

His defence QC Gordon Jackson told the court: “He has fully co-operated with the police and with the Crown.

“We know that the police are content with his level of co-operation and with what he has told them.

“They have found the information to be helpful. We do not know whether there have been arrests in somewhere like Sheffield as a consequence of what he has told them - that is secret, confidential information.

“But what I can say is that his information has greatly assisted them.”

The former Merchant Navy sailor owns Gibson Marine which operates throughout the world in transporting rigs to oil fields.

But he also enjoyed a secret double life in which he downloaded tens of thousands of images from the world wide web.

Gibson used top secret file sharing software in which he exchanged shocking photographs.

The court previously heard how Lothian and Borders Police received information Gibson and raided his house in Pathhead, in May 2011, discovering a total of 49,809 indecent images on his computer.

The majority of the images contained boys who were aged five to 14.