A MAN who is registered blind has been jailed for 20 months after downloading tens of thousands of indecent images of children.

Charles Stevenson appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday and admitted possessing and downloading 40,539 still images and 434 videos, many of them depicting the most obscene material. He had organised it all into a library of compact discs, floppy discs, SD cards, USB sticks and computer hard drives between April 14, 2004 and July 18, 2016.

The Guide Dog charity worker, from Nairn, suffers from a degenerative eye disease that will ultimately make him totally blind.

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Sheriff David Sutherland told the 38-year-old these were “most serious offences and not victimless crimes”. He reduced his sentence from 30 months because Stevenson immediately wanted to plead guilty after his arrest.

Defending, Neil Wilson said his client lived life as an unhappy recluse. “Given his lifestyle, there is not going to be much difference for him living in a prison cell. But he will miss the company of his guide dog,” he said.