News

Freddie Scappaticci watched extreme pornography 'after feeling depressed and suicidal'

Freddie Scappaticci, who denies being the double agent Stakenife, has pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing extreme pornographic images
Connla Young

SUSPECTED British agent Freddie Scappaticci claimed he viewed extreme pornography because he was feeling depressed and suicidal.

The 72-year-old, widely believed to be the agent Stakeknife, admitted two counts of possessing extreme pornography when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday.

The court heard the charges related to at least 329 images, many involving animals.

In 2003 it was claimed by the media that Scappaticci is the British agent known as Stakeknife. He has denied working for the British.

It is claimed he was a key member of the IRA’s internal security unit and was involved in interrogating dozens of suspected informers, some of which were later killed.

During yesterday’s hearing a judge remarked that he had not been before a court in 50 years and said “that's good character in my book”.

Prosecutions papers obtained by the Irish News reveal that Scappaticci, who had previously lived in west Belfast, reveal he had a history of depression and attempted to take his own life.

The recent charges against him, which span from October 2015 to January this year, were brought by officers from Operation Kenova, which was set up in 2016 to investigate allegations linked to the alleged double agent.

Police discovered the stash of disturbing images after seizing a laptop, which was on a living room coffee table, when they searched his home in January this year.

In court papers seen by The Irish News he tells police during questioning about suffering from depression and claimed that he has tried to kill himself.

He told officers that he viewed extreme pornography when he felt low.

“It just seems to lift me….see when you go down into the depths, because see I tried to commit suicide,” he said.

He also attempted to justify his use of extreme pornography claiming he was “not doing anyone any real harm”.

“It’s not going out to try and interfere with anyone or anything like that…I’m just trying to get myself sorted out….my depression’s so bad at time,” he told officers.

Scappaticci admitting using search engines for internet searches and said his areas of interest included “cars, the British army, maps, combat, football, politics”.

He also told police he was not sexually interested in animals, and preferred women with big breasts.

However Scappaticci was told by police that his internet search terms had been looked at and there were no searches found for his apparent preference and the common theme appeared to be animals and bestiality.

Police found he had conducted several searches on a total of 13 different days between November 2015 and January 2018.

It also emerged that during interview Scappaticci claimed he suffered from “deep depression” for which he had been receiving treatment for the past 30 years.

He also claimed that he and his wife had been separated for the last 15 years and that she lives in Ireland but that he had to leave because he would have been murdered.

His defence team produced medical records revealing that in 2013 he told medical professionals that “his isolation was causing him to socialise less and less and he had been using the internet to view pornographic images”.

In addition they also said that there had been “repeated diagnosis of him suffering from a depressive disorder”.

He also suffered a stroke in 2014 and has a history of myocardial Infarction - heart attacks.

Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot sentenced Scappaticci to three months in custody, suspended for 12 months.

She said: "You have not been before the court for 50 years - and that's good character in my book.

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

Solicitor Kevin Winters, who represents more than 20 families linked to the Operation Kenova investigation, said he is “assessing the significance and impact of this latest court development on the direction of those cases in particular and Operation Kenova in general”.

“Families of those who lost loved ones killed as alleged informants and others want to know where this takes them,” he said.

“We are engaging with the Kenova team on the sensitivities in play.”

Befordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher, who heads up Operation Kenova, said: “This result is an indication that wherever criminal behaviour is identified during my investigation, evidence will be presented for the purposes of prosecution.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

News

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: