A SEX offender has been convicted of taking pictures of boys as young as five during last year’s Edinburgh Festival.
Derek Jones had denied a breach of the peace charge, which claimed his photography of the children – aged between five and seven – on the city’s High Street was criminal.
But two teenagers, who were out enjoying shows at the festival at the time became suspicious when they realised he was taking pictures of one boy who was with his mother.
The 17-year-olds decided to follow him and saw Jones taking pictures of more boys at another show.
The teenagers then told festival staff who confronted Jones and the police were then contacted.
Jones was on trial for repeatedly taking close-up photographs of small boys on August 16.
He pleaded not guilty to causing fear and alarm to members of the public.
And his defence agent Sandra Walker put forward a no case to answer submission after the Crown case was heard.
But the submission was rejected by Sheriff Kenneth Maciver. He said:
“I think in this case the uninvited photography of children is something which could potentially cause serious disturbance.
“The High Street in Edinburgh during the festival time’s a place where many people can be found. They do not expect to be the subject of close-up photography. “
The sheriff said he found the evidence of the witness entirely credible and reliable, before finding Jones, 39, who was listed in court papers as living at Shadepark Gardens, Dalkeith, guilty of the breach of the peace charge.
Once Jones was found guilty fiscal depute Gerard Drugan said Jones was already subject to a sexual offences protection order preventing him from contacting children under sixteen.
Sheriff Maciver deferred sentence for reports until later this month.