Eight guilty in Scottish child abuse case

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The Independent Online

Eight men believed to have formed Scotland's largest paedophile network were found guilty of child abuse and pornography charges yesterday.

Police seized nearly 125,000 indecent images of children during their investigation into the men's activities.

The gang were traced through their explicit internet conversations detailing their sexual fantasies.

Neil Strachan, 41, was convicted after a 10-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh of the attempted rape of a 18-month-old boy in 2005, the Press Association reported.

James Rennie, 38, was found guilty of molesting a young boy for more than four years, starting when the child was just three months old.

All eight men were convicted of child pornography offences.

The crimes were all committed in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and East Lothian between 2004 and 2008.

Detective Superintendent Allan Jones of Lothian and Borders Police said the gang had led double lives.

"Some were respected members of their professions and communities," he said.

"They made initial contact via the internet and used it to share vile imagery and discuss the abuse of children."

The family of one of the abused children said Rennie had been one of their closest friends for 15 years.

"To subsequently learn that he abused our son, and invited others to do the same, has been devastating," they said.

The men will be sentenced at a later date.