Motherwell father caught with child pornography is jailed

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A Motherwell dad caught with hundreds of indecent images of children on his laptop has been jailed for two years.

Graeme Rippey, 32, was also put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week.

He had denied downloading photos depicting abuse of youngsters, but a jury unanimously found him guilty after trial last month.

He was also convicted of possessing images showing bestiality.

Passing sentence after studying background reports, Sheriff Aladair MacFadyen decided a prison stretch was the only appropriate outcome.

Lorry driver Rippey was charged after an early morning police raid at his home in Ravenscliffe Road, Motherwell, on November 23 last year.

The laptop had been given to him by his stepdad, John Matuszczyk. 50, who was called as a witness and denied all knowledge of the images.

Rippey didn’t try to blame his stepdad, claiming the images must have been downloaded by accident.

His partner, Heather Findlay, wept as she recalled police arriving at their home with a search warrant.

Asked her reaction to the discovery of indecent images, she told Vish Kathuria, prosecuting: “I had just given birth a few weeks before. I was quite shocked.”

Ms Findlay said she and Rippey both had the laptop password, but said he used the device more often than she did.

She too denied any knowledge of the indecent images.

The witness agreed with solicitor-advocate Ali Murray, representing Rippey, that what had happened was “horrendous, embarrassing and upsetting”.

She had never seen Rippey acting suspiciously with the laptop - for example, slamming down the top cover or switching off the machine to avoid her seeing what he was looking at.

Ms Findlay admitted that she stood to lose “everything” if Rippey was convicted, but insisted she would not lie to the court to protect her partner.

The jury was shown footage of Rippey being interviewed by police officers following the seizure of the laptop.

He answered ‘No comment’ to most questions, saying that was the advice he had been given.

He declined to say what he used the laptop for, if he had a sexual interest in children and what his views were on the abuse of children.

One officer said he “found it hard to understand” that Rippey was not taking the opportunity to explain how the images came to be on the laptop.

The officer added: “I think you are a risk and a threat to children.”

Rippey replied: “No.”