A pervert caught with hundreds of child abuse images downloaded over a 10-year period had been “viewing images since the inception of the internet”.
Mark Thompson owned a computer tower and hard drive filled with the vile images and was snared after posting one on social media.
He later claimed he did not gain sexual pleasure from them but just liked looking at them.
While some had been deleted, experts were able to show he had downloaded almost 800 indecent images.
Fiscal depute Claire Bremner told the court a category C image had been uploaded to Facebook in July 2019.
Investigations traced the IP address – a computer’s unique identifier – to Thompson.
She said: “At 6am on January 6, police officers attended and executed a search warrant.
“The accused answered the door and allowed them inside.
“A search was carried out, during which a number of items were recovered, including a system unit and a hard drive.
“An initial forensic preview of the system unit found a user account in the name of the accused and files of interest in the download folder, although the contents of the file were no longer present.”
She said that a “large number” of the images were voyeuristic pictures of females, including children as young as 10 but that these images were considered “indicative”.
The external hard drive contained images downloaded using the Limewire file-sharing service.
‘Forgot images were there’
After being arrested, Thompson told officers he had “been viewing images of children since the inception of the internet.”
Ms Bremner continued: “He stated he did not see then in a sexual manner and would not masturbate – he liked what he saw.
“He said he forgot the images were even there.”
Search terms used by Thompson to find the images included “nudist family” and “naked boys”.
The computer tower was found to contain two category A images, 17 category B images and 709 category C images.
The hard drive featured an image and four videos at category A, 16 images and a video at category B and 38 Category C images.
The majority of the images had been deleted by Thompson but 78 pictures and one video remained accessible.
Thompson, of Main Street, Cardenden, had previously pled guilty to possessing indecent images of children at his home or elsewhere from June 22 2009 until December 15 2019.
The 60-year-old also admitted that between the same dates, he downloaded the images.
Sentence was deferred for background reports and Thompson has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register.