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NO PENALTY; Sex party porn video let-off for soccer kid.

Byline: By RON MOORE

A PROMISING striker who filmed a girl having under-age sex was yesterday spared punishment - so that he can pursue his footballing career.

Scotland Under-16s star Callum McKinlay, 16, admitted distributing child porn after sending video clips to friends from his mobile phone.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher said he had considered a deferred sentence, but added: "I have decided not to in view of reports and the damage that might do to your football career."

He admonished the highly-rated Cowdenbeath player, who signed for Rangers aged 13 and left Hibernian during the criminal proceedings.

Sheriff Fletcher asked McKinlay to put himself in the victim's shoes.

He said: "You might develop into a good footballer - and if that did happen to you, imagine what it would be like if you were in the situation these people were and people took photos and sent them on to magazines or newspapers."

"Think of the damage that could do to you if you were at Manchester United or something like that."

McKinlay, from Bridge of Earn, Perthshire, used his camera phone to film a 16-year-old friend having sex with a girl of 14 at a drunken house party in Perth last May.

The footballer, then 15, was one of seven teens who crowded into a bedroom to watch the romp, the town's sheriff court heard.

The girl complained to police when the clips were passed around the youngsters' school.

Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson told an earlier hearing: "You can imagine the effect that had.

"The girl very quickly became aware this film was doing the rounds, which caused her considerable distress and embarrassment."

McKinlay was at first spoken to by police as a witness. His solicitor David Holmes told the court: "He co-operated fully by saying he had footage of the incident.

"When he was interviewed he told the police he did not realise he was committing a crime."

Mr Holmes said two other teens had filmed the incident on their phones. But he said his client "truly regretted" his behaviour.

Sexual assault charges agaisnt the boy seen having sex in the footage have been dropped.

r.moore@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

ADMONISHED: McKinlay outside court in Perth' SHERIFF: Fletcher
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2007
Words:369
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