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Inverness man admits filming people in a staff toilet at Eastgate Shopping Centre and paying young girls to strip for him

By Gregor White

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Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Eastgate Shopping Centre.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard man would buy alcohol and cigarettes for youngsters and reward girls with cash if they took their clothes off.

Ian Nicholson (50), of Castle Heather Road, Inverness, would record both men and women dressing and undressing, as well as using the facilities in the Eastgate Shopping Centre for several months during 2011.

He also bought alcohol and cigarettes for youngsters of both genders and rewarded girls under the age of 18 with cash if they took their clothes off.

His activities were revealed when police obtained a search warrant to seize and examine his laptop in March 2018, fiscal depute David Morton told Sheriff Chris Dickson.

On the laptop police found 355 images of men and woman in various stages of undress within the toilet where Nicholson had covertly set up a camera.

They also recovered a number of indecent photographs of children which had been downloaded and kept between 2011 and 2017.

Mr Morton then told the court of Nicholson’s illegal sexual exploits with young teenage girls under the age of 16.

He said two girls aged 14 or 15 were initially involved, having been introduced to Nicholson by a partner of one of them.

“They had been made aware of the possibility that if they removed items of clothing for Nicholson they may receive money in return. This took place on a number of occasions at Nicholson’s house and elsewhere.

“On the first occasion Nicholson, who was aged 42 at the time, kissed a 13-year-old girl.”

Mr Morton added that one of the girls took some of her friends to Nicholson’s house where they would be supplied with alcohol and cigarettes or given money to purchase them.

“One afternoon,one of the girls was in Nicholson’s garden hot tub and he kissed her on the neck and mouth as she straddled him. Another girl also attended his home and undressed in front of him, with Nicholson recording a number of images unbeknown to her. They were also found on the laptop.”

Mr Morton went on to say that Nicholson handled the girl's breasts and carried out a sex act on himself.

Nicholson admitted a total of eight sex offences involving voyeurism of adults and sexual activity with young girls, culpable and reckless conduct, downloading and possessing indecent images of children.

His lawyer, Pauline Chapman said that her client, who admitted previous convictions, could be dealt with immediately due to his record. But she asked the sheriff to call for a background and psychological report as they may be helpful.

Sentence was deferred until January 17 next year and Nicholson was again remanded in custody.

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