A disgraced ex-police officer who accumulated a “sickening collection” of indecent images of children has been spared jail.
Rikki Henderson was also convicted of taking and sharing a picture of a woman’s private parts.
A jury at Aberdeen Sheriff Court found him guilty of three charges following a trial in August.
During proceedings the court heard images of children as young as eight engaged in sadistic sexual activity were found in the “sent” folder of his Whatsapp account.
Of the nine found, seven were found in category C, the least serious, one was category B and another was A.
He had also been accused of two sexual assaults at the Army Cadet Force in Boddam, near Peterhead, but the jury found these charges not proven.
Henderson, of Bridge Street in Strichen, had denied any wrongdoing and returned to court yesterday to be sentenced.
Representing the 25-year-old, defence agent John MacLeod said his client had lost everything as a result of the offences.
He said the report suggested he “lacked emotional maturity” and he had “lost two careers”.
Sheriff William Summers said the woman who Henderson had taken a picture of had been forced to come to court as a result of his not guilty plea and she did so with “dignity” which was the “absolute opposite of how you conducted yourself”.
He added: “I recognise that your life has fallen apart in a very meaningful way. You are solely and entirely the author of that.”
He placed Henderson under supervision and on the sex offenders register for three years and ordered him to carry out 260 hours of unpaid work.
Following the outcome, a spokesman for the NSPCC said: “As a police officer and army cadet instructor, Henderson was in a position of great trust in the community but ignored this responsibility to accumulate a sickening collection of images of children being abused.
“Behind every image was a real child suffering appalling abuse and Henderson’s actions in possessing them have only fuelled the demand for this sickening material to be produced.”