A PAEDOPHILE who hoarded and distributed pictures and video footage of horrific images of child sexual abuse at his Ayrshire home has been jailed.

Steven Telfer was told he will remain on the sex offenders register indefinitely after more than 500 photos and 377 moving images were found on a mobile phone at his flat in Maybole. 

Telfer was told he will serve three and a half years behind bars, with another year extended sentence in the community.

He was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order to monitor his behaviour, to run for seven years. 

The 46-year-old, who has been behind bars since February, appeared at Ayr Sheriff Court last week for sentencing.

He had previously been warned by a judge that she was considering sending the case to the High Court, where tougher punishments can be imposed.

Telfer admitted possessing indecent photographs of children at his home in St Cuthbert’s Street and elsewhere between November 2021 and February of this year. 

He also pleaded guilty to distributing or showing still and moving images to other paedophiles, using the Telegram social media app, between January 31 and February 7, 2023. 

Bail was refused when Telfer first appeared in court in private on February 9, and he has been in custody on remand ever since. 

Fiscal depute Alasdair Millar said: “The locus was his home address in St Cuthbert’s Street – a one-bedroom flat. 

“Police received information indecent images were linked to the address, and a warrant was issued on February 8.  

“During a systematic search, a number of items were seized. Police searched a Samsung phone, finding indecent images. The accused was arrested and taken to Ayr police station.  

“A total of 517 still images were found depicting children from 0-18. Of those, 181 were category A [the worst level of abuse], 92 were category B, and 306 category C.” 

The abuse, described in court, is too horrific to report in the Advertiser. 

The fiscal depute added: “Of the moving images, 181 were category A, 94 category B and 102 category C. 

“It has been agreed that the phone will be destroyed.”  

Sentence was deferred for a full risk assessment and social work reports after defence solicitor Steven Maxwell said his client fully anticipated more time in custody and made no motion for bail. 

When Telfer appeared on Monday, [September 18] Mr Maxwell said: "Steven Telfer appreciates a custodial sentence is enevitable. He appreciates, if my lady is able to deal with the offence in this court at this stage, the requirement of being subject to an extended sentence.

"It's quite clear he will require to be monitored in the community if and when he is subject to his release.

"Notwithstanding the behaviour, I would ask my lady deal with matters in your jurisdiction today.

"I simply ask to consider backdating any sentence to the date remanded in custody. There was always going to be a plea. 

Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart told Telfer: “I have read the reports in great detail and I'm taking you at your word you accept you need help and accept just how serious this offending is.

"I have given careful consideration to matters and consider on balance it's a matter I can deal with."

For breaching aprevious sex offender order, Telfer was jailed for 30 months.

She added: "The new matter is of such a serious nature it requires a sentence in two parts - custody, then an extended sentence." 

Telfer was jailed for 42 months for the abuse images, and will then also serve an extended 12 month sentence on release from custody

Mr Milar asked that Telfer also be placed on a further Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which Sheriff Mactaggart said would run for seven years.

Telfer had previously admitted taking or making indecent images between December 3, 2016 and January 1, 2020, as well as possession of the same types of image between January 16 2016 and April 20, 2020.    

Not guilty pleas to charges of possessing air guns were accepted by the Crown.