A PERVERT was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children after he signed up to an illicit website.

Charles Waters downloaded the images and movies featuring child abuse from the website, which he had found on the ‘hidden internet’.

Waters, 49, was caught after Police Scotland’s Cyber Crime Unit received details of his online activities and, after they searched his home for computer equipment, he quickly admitted his guilt.

Many of the child pornography images found on Waters’ computer and phone were at the most serious end of the spectrum.

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver slammed Waters for aiding the “evil trade” of child abuse and sentenced him to three years of supervision.

Waters, of Whitecraig, was also placed on the sex offenders register for the same term during last Tuesday’s appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Previously, the court heard that police officers arrived to search Waters’ home at about 7am on April 13 last year and were met at the door by his unsuspecting partner.

Depute fiscal Anthony Steele said: “The locus is the home address of the accused. In March 2015, the cyber-crime unit received intelligence that a person residing there had viewed or downloaded indecent pictures of children.

“These images were accessed by the internet and included first generation Category A indecent images of children which were uploaded to a website.

“To view these images, the user had to be a member of the website.”

Mr Steele added that police discovered 183 movies and 24 still images of child pornography on Waters’ electronic devices.

Defending solicitor Rebecca Weissgerber said that her client maintained he had “not actively searched” for the indecent images but had found them by accident while viewing adult pornography sites before downloading them.

Ms Weissgerber said that at the time, the former electrical engineer had been binge drinking and using the internet up to 10 hours a day following a spinal injury that left him confined to his home.

The solicitor added: “He is aware real-life abuse takes place in order for these images to be produced.”

Sheriff Maciver said: “People abhor this type of offending, and for good reason.

“These are not simply images, not some constructed pictures to be viewed on your monitor, but they are films of actual children who are being sexually abused by adults.

“You were not buying it, I know, but people access it on the internet and pay for it and thus it is a trade – an evil trade.”

Waters admitted to taking or permitting to be taken indecent photographs of children at his home between October 7, 2014, and February 21 last year.