Police brand ‘appalling’ Fife man with child abuse images who sent racist abuse to footballer

Police have welcomed the jailing of a Fife man who had indecent images of children – and who also racially abused an international footballer.

Friday, 7th January 2022, 2:46 pm

Kirk Thompson was sentenced to 12 months when he appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday.

The 22-year old, from Ravens Craig in the town, pleaded guilty to three charges – possession of indecent images of children, permitting to be taken or making indecent images of children, and sending a racist message to ex-Premier League footballer Yannick Bolasie in a message via the social network platform, Instagram.

Police said the conviction showed there was no hiding place on the web.

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Thompson appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court and was jailed for a year.

Detective Inspector Adrian Ure, National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, Police Scotland described Thompson’s conduct as “appalling.”

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He continued: “He demonstrated both a complete and utter disregard for the child victims depicted in the images he was viewing, and wholly unacceptable racially aggravated behaviour and comments.

"In committing both of these crimes, he wrongly believed that the internet would provide some form of anonymity and allow him to go about his online offending undetected.

"However there is no hiding place, and as a result of our investigation he will now rightly face a custodial sentence and the consequences of his actions.”

DI Ure added: "Any form of child sexual abuse or racially aggravated conduct is a serious criminal offence and is a priority for Police Scotland."

At the time the offence was committed, Mr Bolasie, who now plays in Turkey for Caykur Rizespor, called his abuser a “keyboard warrior” and a rat.

The court heard that police had found two category-A videos in Thompson’s possession which were 22 seconds and 52 seconds in length.

Officers also uncovered a pair of category-B videos, each of them were a minute-long.

The court heard Thompson had used an encrypted email service called Proton to have conversations about child abuse with others. His lawyer acknowledged there had been conversations mainly with one individual.

In sentencing Thompson, Sheriff Brown described his message to the footballer as ‘more than stupid’, ‘deeply offensive’ and that it might have happened due to Thompson ‘not getting out enough’.

He continued: “When it comes to your racist abuse of Mr Bolasie, in terms of culpability, it was deliberate. In terms of harm, you were contributing to a toxic trend in the use of electronic means of communication.

“The particular word you used is one which (Mr Bolasie) rightly found deeply offensive. The court will always take abuse of that sort very seriously.”

In terms of the charges relating to the images, Sheriff Brown said: “Your conduct was both deliberate and persistent. The number of images was very small and the duration of the videos was short.

“Nevertheless, what’s described is serious abuse of children… for your personal gratification.

"You do, by viewing material of this sort, help to provide an audience for those who take the images and abuse children.

“You were an active member of an online community which was bound together by its shared interest of sexual abuse of children.”

He added: “I assess the harm in your case to be significant.”

Thompson was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

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