Belfast Telegraph

Scappaticci avoids jail after pleading guilty to extreme porn charges

By Ryan Hooper

A man widely named as the IRA informer Stakeknife has avoided prison after admitting two counts of possessing extreme pornography.

Freddie Scappaticci appeared before Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London to admit the charges, which related to at least 329 images, some of them involving animals.

The 72-year-old wore a blue fleece and green tracksuit bottoms to the hearing.

Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot sentenced him to three months' custody, suspended for a year.

"You have not been before the court for 50 years - and that's good character in my book," she told him.

"I can see you are not a well man at all - you have very serious health issues - and that you live a lonely life."

Scappaticci has always denied claims that he is Stakeknife, a high-ranking military mole who reputedly led the IRA's 'nutting squad'.

The group was an internal security unit that interrogated and murdered suspected spies during the Troubles.

He was arrested by police in January over offences including murder and abduction but later released on bail.

The court heard Scappaticci told officers he was not sexually interested in animals, and preferred women with big breasts.

The alleged double agent also claimed he was "not doing anyone any real harm" and said he had depression.

Scappaticci used his laptop to search for a number of areas of interest including "cars, the British Army, maps, combat, football and politics".

He also, however, searched for pornography.

He conducted a number of searches on a total of 13 different days between November 2015 and January 2018.

Scappaticci was ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The defendant was convicted after material was seized as part of Operation Kenova.

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who led the investigation, said the conviction came about as a result of "material recovered during a search conducted by the Kenova team".

"This result is an indication that wherever criminal behaviour is identified during my investigation, evidence will be presented for the purposes of prosecution," Chief Constable Boutcher added.

"Operation Kenova continues to recover evidence in relation to our core terms of reference and, as and when it is appropriate to speak further, I will do so.

"I would encourage anyone who might be able to assist with this important inquiry to please contact my team via the details on the Kenova website, or by calling Crimestoppers."

Belfast Telegraph

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