A RETIRED company director who was caught with hundreds of child abuse images – including of two-year-olds being sexually abused – has avoided a jail sentence.

Lindsay Holman was found to have stored 1,500 pictures and 20 videos on five devices at the home he shares with his wife in Haddington.

Holman, 64, was at home with his wife when police raided the property armed with a search warrant last year following a tip-off that indecent images of children were being downloaded.

He denied any involvement in possessing the material but was forced to admit his guilt after appliances including his mobile phone and computer were forensically examined.

The recently retired IT boss was arrested and charged, and he pleaded guilty to two charges when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.

Holman is listed online as a former director of engineering development company Televisua Ltd and is also listed as an ex-director with Panasonic.

He returned to the dock for sentencing on Monday, where he was placed on the sex offenders’ register for three years

'Interest in pornography'

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver also placed Holman under the supervision of his local social work department for three years and ordered him to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Solicitor Peter O’Neill told the court that Holman “had an interest in adult pornography” but had become involved with “a [online] group where all kinds of pornography was shared”.

Mr O’Neill said that Holman’s family were “shocked but supportive” of him following his arrest.

Previously, the court was told that police arrived at Holman’s family home with a search warrant on May 25 last year after receiving intelligence that images were being downloaded at the property.

Prosecutor Anna Chisholm said that Holman claimed he had no knowledge of the images but the pictures and videos were soon found hidden away on a mobile phone, a laptop, a system unit and two hard drives.

The fiscal added that the images were collected over a five-year period and officers discovered 1,500 images, with 130 pictures said to be rated as category A – the worst end of the spectrum.

The court was also told that Holman possessed 20 child abuse movies, with 18 rated at category A.

Ms Chisholm said that the images and videos showed the sexual abuse of boys and girls aged between two and 14.

Holman left the court building wearing a black hat, sunglasses and a black face mask in a bid to hide his identity.

Holman pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children at his home between August 20, 2016, and May 25 last year.

He also admitted to a charge of permitting to be taken, or making, indecent images of children between the same dates.