‘Stakeknife’ convicted of extreme pornography possession
The man alleged to be the British Army’s highest-ranking IRA informer during the Troubles and the subject of an extensive murder investigation, has been convicted of two charges of possession of extreme pornographic images.
Fred Scappaticci, who is alleged to be the informer known as Stakeknife, admitted having extreme images of women, men and animals, although there were none of children.
The material was recovered as part of Operation Kenova, an investigation into Scappaticci’s alleged IRA activities, led by Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher.
Scappaticci, 72, pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to three months in custody, suspended for 12 months, at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday (December 5).
During police interviews, he said he was “not doing anyone any real harm”.
The charges involved at least 329 images, accessed between October 2015 and January this year.
Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot 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.”
The court had heard that Scappaticci, from west Belfast, told police that he had depression.
He also told them he was not interested in animals sexually, and preferred women with big breasts.
It is alleged that he was the leader of the IRA’s brutal internal security unit, known as ‘the nutting squad’, during the Troubles, which interrogated and allegedly murdered suspected spies within the organisation, but he has always strongly denied this.
He has also categorically denied ever working for British military intelligence and being ‘Stakeknife’, its longest-serving asset inside the IRA.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, he has been directly linked to 18 murders.
Mr Boutcher said after the sentencing: “Today’s 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.
“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.”