Glasgow & West Scotland

Renfrew paedophile caught in chat room jailed

Hugh Sim Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Sim was traced after police in New Zealand investigated images posted in a paedophile chat group

A paedophile who filmed himself abusing a three-year-old girl and posted the images online has been jailed for eight years.

Hugh Sim, 30, from Renfrew, was caught after the pictures were spotted in a chat group by police in New Zealand.

He was convicted of sexually abusing the girl, and making and distributing indecent photos.

Sentencing him at Glasgow High Court, the judge said the damage to his victim was "catastrophic".

'No remorse'

Sim was assessed as being at a high-risk of re-offending and will be monitored in the community for two years after his release.

Judge Johanna Johnston told him: "You photographed and filmed abuse which took place many times for your sexual gratification. These images were distributed online and found by police in New Zealand.

"The damage you have caused to that little girl is catastrophic and she now has difficulty forming attachments."

The judge said Sim had done his best to conceal his actions and added: "Had it not been for the work of the police in this country and the authorities in New Zealand your offences may never have come to light.

"You have shown no remorse and continue to protest your innocence."

The 30-year-old had denied he was the person in the images, but a former lover identified him by his heavyset build and ginger hair.

'Swift actions'

During a police inquiry in New Zealand into the members of the paedophile chat group it was established that one of the users had logged on from the UK and an internet search uncovered the subscriber as Sim.

Defence counsel Susan Duff said: "He accepts that he has been convicted of these offences, but maintains his position of claiming he is not guilty."

Sim was placed on the sex offenders register.

Det Ch Insp Fil Capaldi of Police Scotland said: "Hugh Sim's sentence today reflects the gravity of his actions and demonstrates that there is no hiding place for people who commit these types of depraved crimes against children, wherever they may be - crimes which would have impacted on this young girl's ability to enjoy a normal, happy childhood.

"I must praise the swift actions of the Police Scotland officers and detectives from the New Zealand Police Service involved in this inquiry."

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