South Scotland

Indecent images music teacher David Shanks sentenced

A music teacher found with hundreds of indecent images of children has been given a community payback order.

David Shanks, 55, of Gallaberry, Annan, was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and was placed on the sex offenders register for three years.

The former conductor of Annan Town Band had admitted being in possession of indecent images over a period of nearly seven years to February 2014.

The court heard that most of the images were at the lower end of the scale.

Shanks, who had been head of musical development with Dumfries and Galloway Council, was described at Dumfries Sheriff Court as a man held in high regard in the community.

Sheriff Brian Mohan told him that there was nothing to suggest there had been any contact, but that in downloading the images he was contributing to the cruelty towards children who were abused.

Lowest level

The court heard there were a total of nearly 600 images involved, mostly of the lowest level consisting mainly of boys, although there were a small number of level 2, 3 and 4.

Solicitor David Finnie stressed that while a few of the images had been at the higher level, Shanks, whose duties had included visiting various schools throughout the region, had been disgusted with them and thought they were obscene.

He said his interest was restricted to the lowest level images.

Mr Finnie added Shanks had not been shunned by his family and references had been put forward by the head teacher at Annan Academy where he had taught, as well as from other teachers and a minister.

The sheriff ordered he be put under supervision for a period of three years.

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