March 2011

Sheriff jails paedophile for indecent images after hearing his only regret was being caught

Disabled Steven Paramore of  Victoria Street has a history of convictions for offences against young males and has in the past admitted that he poses a risk to children.

And on Tuesday the 50-year-old’s continued lack of remorse for his actions convinced Sheriff Robert McCreadie that there was no alternative to yet another custodial sentence.

He jailed Paramore for 13½ months and ordered that he be subject to an “extended sentence” upon his release — meaning he will be closely supervised to protect the public from harm. The sheriff also ordered that he be placed on the sex offenders’ register for the next seven years.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that Paramore, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was “a registered sex offender who was deemed to be of high risk of reoffending.”

He was banned from being alone with children after admitting an offence involving a youngster in Perth in 2001.

A year later he was jailed for 12 months at Manchester Crown Court in connection with charges of indecent assault and gross indecency.

He was being carefully supervised by police in light of his previous offending behaviour and was regularly visited for risk assessments. On May 25 last year police contacted Paramore to inform him they would be visiting and he agreed they could examine his computer.

He had been downloading and storing images on the machine for some time but was apparently confident that he had successfully covered his tracks. Instead, he was caught out by a single image that persuaded the officers a more thorough search of the computer was warranted.

His computer and memory stick were eventually seized and examined and a total of 92 images of children aged between five and 16 were discovered. All were at the lower end of the official scale, with 73 assessed as level one and 19 at level two — a rating of five is reserved for the very worst images of sexual abuse.

He first appeared at Perth Sheriff Court on September 8 to face charges alleging that he downloaded the images over an eight-year period between May 22, 2002, and May 26, 2010. Having been released on bail, he was back in police cells and then the court within a matter of hours after breaching a bail condition banning him from having access to the internet.

Officers had checked up on Paramore and found he sourced a new computer almost immediately after leaving court on September 8.

On Tuesday, the court heard that social workers believed Paramore was unrepentant and was highly likely to add to his list of convictions in the future, assessing that there was a “very high risk” of his being re-convicted for committing a sexual offence.

“It is unusual to see ‘very high risk of reconviction’ appearing within a report,” Sheriff McCreadie said. “The report does however note that when asked by the social work reporter why you had these images, you replied, ‘Why not?’

“The reporter found that you had little remorse and only bemoaned the fact that you could not get away with it. Asked whether you see the children as victims, you replied, ‘No, but I know I should’.

“These are all telling statements that reflect someone who has been repeatedly convicted for offences against young boys. There appears to be a lack of remorse, a persistency of offending and now also the blatant breaching of two orders of the court.

“That does not suggest to me someone who is likely to reform, nor take advantage of an opportunity such as the Tay Project in any meaningful way.”

The relatively small number of images and their low level would normally attract a community disposal, but Sheriff McCreadie said he had to look at this case differently, given Paramore’s record and two breaches of bail.