Pair Convicted in Connection With Indecent Images of Children

Published 26 August 2015

A woman from Fife has admitted sexually abusing a child and producing indecent images after being incited online.

Muriel Melville, aged 73, and Michael Leith, aged 48, spoke to each other through grossly offensive chat messages, where he encouraged her to commit a sexual offence.

At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday evening, Melville, from Dunfermline, admitted sexually assaulting a child and creating and distributing indecent images of children. Leith, from Cumbria, admitted inciting Melville to do this.

Sentencing is due next month and Police Scotland welcomes the guilty pleas from Melville and Leith.

Detective Inspector June Peebles of the Child Abuse Investigation Team in Fife said: "Michael Leith and Muriel Melville clearly had a very warped relationship which was mainly conducted online. Melville, an elderly female, was considered to be a trusted upstanding member of the public, however, this investigation very quickly identified that she had chosen to abuse her position of trust to feed her own and Leith's sexual gratification.

"Police Scotland is committed to identifying people within our communities who prey on vulnerable children, and we will utilise all tools and resources available to protect them and prevent their abuse.

"This case should serve as a warning to those who believe they will remain undetected in the cyber world, and to highlight to the wider community that abusers come in many forms." 

Anyone with information about such offences being committed in the community or online should contact Police Scotland on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. 

Alternatively, information can be given to the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. For information about how to keep your child safe online, who can help and where you can report inappropriate, illegal or indecent images involving children, visit CEOP's website


Muriel Melville

Contact Details

Call 101 for non-emergencies and general enquiries, in an emergency call 999. If you have information about a crime you can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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