August 2023

Photographer convicted of sex attacks on women during photoshoots

A photographer accused of sex offences involving five women aged between 17 and 20 has been found guilty of five of the charges at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Simon ‘Sid’ Scott, 44, stood accused of a catalogue of sexual assault and indecent behaviour charges – involving women aged between 16 and 20 – the crimes taking place during photo shoots in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

A lengthy police investigation into Scott’s crimes involved officers sifting through thousands of his photographs – 150,000 of which were found to contain eroticism or nudity.

Scott’s lawyer previously claimed his client was the victim of a “witch-hunt”.

The trial was told Scott had more than 100,000 followers on Instagram and worked with professional modelling agencies in Scotland and London.

He was arrested in 2020, after a post appeared on social media calling for any women who had experiences with him they thought to be criminal to report it to police.

During their investigation, cybercrime officers sifted through several million images from Scott’s storage devices.

Around 150,000 photographs were deemed to contain overt eroticism or nudity.

A jury of nine women and six men took just under six hours to find the professional photographer guilty by majority of five charges.

Not proven verdicts were returned to the remaining seven charges.

Scott, of Sunnyside Road, Aberdeen, sat motionless as the verdicts were read out.

Fiscal depute Lynne MacVicar had urged jurors to convict Scott, describing him as a “manipulative”, “opportunistic” and “predatory” sex offender.

She added: “The Crown’s position is that there is an underlying theme of exploiting situations often in a wholly calculating way.”

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin made Scott subject to the sex offenders register and deferred sentence until September 1 in order for a criminal justice social work report and a restriction of liberty order assessment to be carried out.

The 44-year-old was released on bail.

Scott was found guilty of the following charges:

  • Sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman during a Christmas Eve photo-shoot at City Dance Moves, Aberdeen, in 2015

  • Sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman between 2015 to 2016, at the Jurys Inn Hotel in Aberdeen.

  • Sexually assaulting a 19-year-old girl during a photo-shoot in a bedroom at the CitizenM hotel, in Glasgow’s Renfrew Street, in December 2015

  • Sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in her Aberdeen home in April 2016

  • Sexually assaulting a 17-year-old schoolgirl at Glasgow’s CitizenM Hotel in February 2017.