An RAF airman who had underage girls strip off for him on online chat services from his room at a military base has avoided a jail term.
Chesney Wallbank, who worked at RAF Leuchars in Fife, was caught after he was accused of falsifying documents that would allow him to be involved in the physical training of air cadets aged 13 years and up.
The 23-year-old had a series of young girls pose via webcams after approaching them on Skype, Yahoo Chat and Windows Live Messenger.
Wallbank turned up to court flanked by a commanding officer and could face being dismissed by the RAF following the sentencing hearing.
Fiscal depute Vicky Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: “His room was searched by RAF police in relation to an internal matter concerning him allegedly falsifying documents in order to allow him to be involved in physical training of air cadets.
“His laptop was seized and examination revealed indecent images within.
“The images were found within a temporary storage area used by Windows Live Messenger.
“Chat logs were recovered and show the accused asking for ‘pics’ and asking for ‘pics of young girls 12-13’.
“He also asked an unknown person to do their homework naked whilst streaming through a web cam to him and during these chats there appeared to be trading of images.
“A total of ten indecent images were found. There are comments in the chat logs from girls saying ‘I’m only 14’ and ‘I don’t want to do that’.
“He had not been allowed to do the air cadets training due to concerns other than this.
“It allegedly transpired that he had falsified documents in order to facilitate involvement with cadets and that is what ultimately led to the finding of these images.”
Wallbank (23), whose address was given as RAF Leuchars, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of taking or making indecent images of children between April 21, 2011, and June 5, 2013.
Defence solicitor Iain Flynn said: “He is due to be transferred to RAF Coningsby in England later this year if he is still a serving member of the RAF.
“He had a previous incident where he received a financial penalty under the Armed Forces Act for wearing corporal’s stripes when he wasn’t a corporal.
“He is married and his wife is 10 weeks pregnant.
“He is still serving in the RAF though that may change in the near future.
“A decision will be made on his fate after this hearing.”
Sheriff Alistair Brown imposed a community payback order with 150 hours unpaid work, one year’s supervision and one year on the sex offender’s register.
He said: “These were images which had not been downloaded from websites but had been obtained by persuading girls who were in or approaching their early teens to expose themselves via a messaging service.
“What you did was to create indecent images.
“You were at the time you did this rather young and immature.
“These offences were dated between 2011 and 2013 and there have been significant changes in your life meantime which make the risk of repeat offending low.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that although it is not an entirely clear case prison is avoidable in your case and you will not go to jail.”