An Aberdeen bakery boss has been warned he is facing jail after admitting having nearly 16,000 indecent images of children.
David Aitken, 60, who is in the process of selling the Aitkens Bakery shops, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court and admitted the offences.
The court was told he had 15,961 still images and 405 videos.
Aitken, who is a partner in the bakery business, admitted taking or permitting to be taken or made indecent images of children as well as possessing the material.
The offences took place between March 16 2010 and September 11 2017. Depute fiscal Alan Townsend told the court that Aitken’s home was searched by police.
He said: “On October 14, police received intelligence, on October 17 a warrant was craved. At 8am on November 2 last year police attended and executed the warrant.”
Police seized computer equipment including hard drives.
Mr Townsend went on to say: “The accused was traced at his work.”
Once told that a warrant had been executed at his home, the court heard Aitken “started to shake, saying he should not make any comment”.
Mr Townsend said that during the examination of the equipment “baking-related content consistent with his profession” and “a large amount of documents relating to Aitkens Bakery” were found.
The still images and videos recovered were across categories A, B and C in the sliding scale – with A being the most severe category in grading abuse images.
Defence agent Andrew Ormiston asked for sentence to be deferred for a report and for his client to remain on bail.
He said Aitken was a partner in the business along with a family member.
He added: “He has a number of employees going through the redundancy process.
“That is still ongoing. That includes the sale of a number of properties. It is for these reasons that I ask for him to remain on bail, to allow him to conclude that process.”
Sheriff William Summers told Aitken, whose address was given in court papers as Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, that he would defer sentence until next month and that he would be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act.
And he warned him: “You have pled guilty to two very serious charges. You need to recognise the inevitability of a custodial sentence being imposed when you return to court.”
Firm famed for its rowies for decades
Aitkens Bakery, famed for its butteries, was known throughout the city for decades.
The family-run firm has had a presence in the city for several generations.
Its shops on Glenbervie Road and Menzies Road in Torry and John Street and Holburn Street in Aberdeen were put up for sale earlier this year.
Both the Torry stores remain open however.
The bakery’s butteries counted David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones as a fan, and he took to social media to speak of his sadness after learning the shops were up for sale.
Butteries, a speciality of the north-east, have often come under fire for being unhealthy.
Twelve years ago Aitkens Bakery was at the centre of a rowie bidding war, and even agreed to make a special giant buttery for the winner of an online auction.
A buttery from the bakery was put up for sale, complete with its paper bag, on an auction site to raise cash for charity.
Ultimately the rowie was snapped up for £620, at the time the normal selling price was 24p.