An Angus paedophile who tampered with child abuse images so they showed him engaged in sick acts with Tayside youngsters has been jailed for 18 months.
John Myles photographed children when they were out playing and used editing software to superimpose their faces on to the abuse images.
He also cut and pasted his own face on to the bodies of the adults in the photos.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard the 51-year-old then added captions describing “dreadfully depraved” fantasies involving the children, which were too graphic to be read out.
Myles, of Caledonian Way, Whitehills, Forfar, pleaded guilty to taking or making and possessing indecent images of children between November 2013 and July 2018.
He amassed around 4,000 indecent images and 17 videos. The collection included 353 images which had been edited and 225 in the most severe category.
Solicitor Ian Myles said his client was “ashamed” of what he had done and had been suffering from depression at the time.
He added: “These were all fantasies.
“When arrested, his first words to the police were ‘it’s all in my head, nothing physical’.
“He now realises these are not victimless crimes and he is regretful and ashamed.
“He knows he has a problem and he is willing to address the issues identified.”
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Mr Myles advocated for him be able to complete a sex offenders’ rehabilitation programme in the community.
However, Sheriff Alistair Brown imposed a jail sentence, citing the “disapproval of society” as a factor when considering sentencing options.
He said: “In the majority of cases of making and possessing images, the offender has downloaded photographs and videos from the internet.
“That’s bad enough because such images involve real harm to a real child.
“You have gone far beyond that. You manipulated the images.
“You took photographs, breaching children’s privacy for your sexual gratification.
“You referred to the children by names and described fantasies that were dreadfully depraved.
“This material is vile. I can only hope these children never come to know what you did, because knowing would possibly cause them lasting psychological harm.”
Myles had his sentence backdated to April 23, when he was remanded in custody, and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.