Sexual predator photographer jailed for 20 months | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Image source, Police Scotland

Image caption,

Simon Scott denied the offences

An Aberdeen photographer convicted of sexually assaulting several female models during photoshoots has been jailed.

Simon Scott, 44, targeted five women aged from 17 to 20, between 2014 and 2017, in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

A jury took almost six hours to convict him following an earlier trial. One victim said justice had been done.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday, Sheriff Morag McLaughlin jailed Scott for 20 months.

The sheriff said Scott had carried out a “predatory course of conduct against complainers who were much younger than you, over a period of time”.

Scott was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The trial was told the photographer, known as Sid, 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.

Image caption,

Scott hid his face as he arrived for his sentencing on Friday

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

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

During the trial, Scott said his life had been destroyed – losing his business overnight – and described the allegations as a “co-ordinated and calculated attack on my character”.

Defence advocate David Taylor suggested that the women’s recollections had become distorted over time.

He told the jury: “What you are seeing is a tale that is growing in the telling.”

However, prosecutor Lynne MacVicar told the jury it was not a group of women who were “out to try to get him”.

She said they were intelligent, articulate women who were not fantasists.

The jury was told Scott was a “predator who used his photography as a ruse to legitimise his sexual offending”.

He was convicted of five charges of sexual assault, with not proven verdicts on six charges of sexual assault and one of indecent assault.

‘Closing of a chapter’

One of his victims told BBC Scotland News: “We were all young, it’s something that’s stayed with all of us, and he needed to be brought to justice.”

The woman was sexually assaulted by Scott in 2014, when she was 19.

She said: “It was meant to be a outdoor photoshoot, but when I got there, he took me to a studio.

“We shot many photos in one outfit and he then pressurised me to change into another outfit we discussed that I’d not committed to wearing. When I was in the second outfit, he sexually assaulted me.

“Coming forward as a sexual assault victim, it isn’t easy, it is hard. It makes you go back there many, many times over, it’s a long process.

“But it has been worth it as justice has now been done.”

Of the sentence, she added: “This feels like the closing of a chapter and signals that these crimes are to be taken seriously and those who have committed them punished accordingly.

“I am again so proud of the strength of those who came forward and I would like to thank the police, the procurator fiscal’s office, the jury and the judge for listening to us and taking what he did to us seriously.

“This also hopefully acts as confirmation to those who have been through anything similar to have the confidence to come forward.”

Det Insp Ryan Morris of Police Scotland added: “We acknowledge how difficult this has been for Scott’s victims. Their commitment and engagement during our investigation has helped ensure his conviction.

“Our thoughts remain with them and I hope this gives them some comfort.”

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