September 2015

Elderly Fife woman jailed for abusing child and sending images to paedophile

A Fife woman has been jailed after sexually assaulting a 3-year-old child and sharing the images of the abuse online with another paedophile

Seventy-three-year-old Muriel Melville, from Dunfermline, carried out the abuse after speaking to Michael Leith, 48, through grossly offensive chat messages.

She admitted the offences at Edinburgh High Court and was sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

Leith, from Cumbria, himself pled guilty to inciting Melville to commit the sexual offence and has been sentenced to 18 months.

Melville who worked as a sales assistant, also 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”

Detective Inspector June Peebles, who led the Fife part of the investigation, said Leith and Melville “clearly had a very warped relationship” which was mainly conducted online.

“Melville, an elderly female, was considered to be a trusted upstanding member of the public, however, this investigation very quickly identified that she had chosen to abuse her position of trust to feed her own and Leith’s sexual gratification,” she said.

The online chat and then distribution of the images was key evidence analysed by the East Cyber Crime Hub.

August 2015

Female pensioner sent younger lover indecent photo of 3-year-old girl

Muriel Melville

A 73-year-old woman took an indecent photo of a 3-yr-old girl and sent it to her younger lover after they fantasised about raping a child together.

Muriel Melville, from Dunfermline in Fife, assaulted the three-year-old and sent pictures of it to Michael Leith, who she had met through an online forum

Edinburgh High Court was told Melville had been exchanging messages with the 48-year-old where she had mentioned her desire to abuse children.

He is said to have urged the pensioner to look forward to raping and abusing a child together with him.

Advocate depute Keith Stewart QC told the court the pair met on a forum called ‘AYI’, which is an abbreviated term for ‘Are You Interested?’

He added: ‘Sometime 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, a hotel night porter, 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.

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.

Mr Stewart said that from ‘time to time’ Melville expressed reservations about the behaviour Leith was urging on her.

Melville who worked as a sales assistant, also 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”

During April last year Melville referred Leith to the sentence of two years imprisonment being imposed if found guilty on a charge of possession of indecent images

Leith, described as a prisoner in Perth, admitted inciting the actions of Melville.

He pleaded 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 pair had originally faced a charge of conspiring together to rape and sexually assault a young child.

The Crown accepted Melville’s not guilty plea to that and Leith pleaded in amended terms.

Defence counsel Brian McConnachie QC, for Melville, said: ‘She has never been in trouble of any sort in the past.’

He said she was suffering from anxiety and depression and a psychologist’s report on her had been prepared.

The judge, Lord Brailsford, deferred sentence on the pair for the preparation of background reports and placed them on the sex offenders’ register.