A BRITISH paedophile who was found in Spain after spending five years on the run has avoided prison.
Scot Kirk Brown, 44, fled to Europe after a jury found him guilty of downloading images of child abuse in 2015.
Brown was discovered earlier this year in Spain and hauled back to Scotland for sentencing.
After spending months on remand in both Spain and Scotland, Brown was allowed to walk free despite a sheriff declaring that he may still pose a flight risk.
Sheriff George Way imposed three years of supervision on Brown and placed him on the sex offenders register for the same period.
The pervert was found guilty by a jury of downloading child porn between February 2011 and April 2014.
He was also found guilty of possessing images and videos between February 2011 and May 2014. Fourteen videos and 41 indecent images were found on Brown’s devices.
Defence solicitor John McLaughlin told Dundee Sheriff Court that Brown continued to deny the offences but accepted the jury’s verdict.
He said that Brown had fled Scotland in 2015 after a mob attended at his front door.
“He wants me to apologise and explains that he did not leave Scotland to avoid justice,” Mr McLaughlin said.
“He left because he was going through a difficult period of mental health anguish.
“He was well-known in the area and people turned up at his house, threatening him and making comments, and he felt he had to escape from that.”
Sheriff Way said: “I have come to the conclusion that taking into account the period in custody in Spain and the time spent here on remand any custody I could impose would be longer than could be supported.
“All that I would be left with is a short period of imprisonment, which would actually have no real impact.”
Children’s charities have said they were appalled by the sentence.
Laurie Matthew, from Eighteen and Under said: “Once again crimes against children are minimised and abusers walk away scot free.
“He has the audacity to say he fled to Spain due to a mob attending his front door.
“That’s a long way to go to avoid a mob and a proper prison sentence which is more likely.”