A depraved pervert who sent vile messages to a decoy posing as a 13-year-old girl and Google searched rape has avoided jail – despite a having a conviction for a similar offence.
Stuart MacKay sent sickening messages discussing bestiality to a woman who was pretending to be a young girl on social media as part of a paedophile-hunting vigilante group.
And the 27-year-old also contacted a second woman who had also set up a decoy profile with a separate group posing as a 12-year-old girl, in which he asked if she liked “older men” and called her “cute”.
Members of one of the groups confronted MacKay in a sting which was streamed live on social media.
When the matter was reported to police, officers raided MacKay’s Mintlaw home and discovered indecent images of children, as well as pictures and videos of bestiality.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard MacKay was already on the sex offender’s programme for another offence, committed around the same time.
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told Aberdeen Sheriff Court MacKay had messaged two activists working with separate paedophile-hunting groups, Justice for the Innocent and Forbidden Scotland, who were posing online as young girls.
Between August 21 2019 and September 1 2019 the first witness received a message from MacKay which said: “Hey there beautiful how are you? Are you into older guys?”
When the witness replied saying she was 12 years old, MacKay said: “Oh you’re really cute for your age.”
Further messages of a similar nature were also exchanged.
On September 22 or 23 2019 another witness working with a different group of activists received a message from the accused asking if she would like to tie him up and referencing bestiality. MacKay also sent further sickening messages.
Mr Neilson said the witness then told MacKay she was aged 13, to which he replied: “Okay.”
However, he went on to send another depraved message saying he wanted a “cute young girl” “to do naughty things to me”.
The matter was reported to police on September 28.
Officers executed a search warrant at MacKay’s home the following day and seized electronic devices.
An inspection discovered eight category C images – the least serious category – of children, and two images classed as category B.
A total of 53 images and nine videos were also found, depicting bestiality.
The videos had a total play length of more than 20 minutes.
Evidence of Google searches relating to bestiality and rape was also found.
MacKay, whose address was given as Artlaw Crescent, Mintlaw, pled guilty to a total of five charges including attempting to communicate indecently with a child aged 12, and a child aged 13.
He also admitted possessing extreme pornographic images.
And MacKay further admitted possessing, as well as taking, permitting to be taken or making indecent photos or pseudo-photos of children.
Defence agent Leonard Burkinshaw said his client had been handed a supervision order in respect of a separate, similar offence and was also undertaking the Moving Forward, Making Changes programme as part of that.
The solicitor said the programme had been “of great benefit” to MacKay and was also helping to protect the wider community from his offending.
He added it had given his client an insight into how the offences could impact on victims.
Sheriff Philip Mann said he noted MacKay had not committed any further offences since being put on the programme and supervision order.
He said: “I note from the report you have sorted out your cannabis use and you are engaging with the supervision and Moving Forward, Making Changes programme.
“I note from the report you have shown remorse for your offending and taken steps to address your offending behaviour.”
He handed MacKay 18 months supervision, 120 hours of unpaid work and a curfew for four-and-a-half months.
He also made him subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act for five years.