A MUSSELBURGH man left a schoolgirl traumatised after contacting her online for sex chats.

Alan Innes contacted the 14-year-old girl on Snapchat and soon began asking her to send him intimate pictures of herself.

Innes, who worked in a care home for the elderly, also sent sexually explicit messages to the girl discussing sexual activity.

Innes, of Eskview Crescent, admitted the offence when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned to the dock for sentencing last Friday.

Defending solicitor Edward Barr acknowledged that his 36-year-old client had “serious and harmful conversations” with the schoolgirl but at the time Innes had been suffering from mental health problems.

Mr Barr added: “He has insight into the conversations which have had a significant impact on the victim but he has shown an understanding about how his actions have caused that.

“He has sympathy for the impact he has caused.”

Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC said Innes had shown “a genuine level of remorse” about the contact and decided to take the “exceptional step” and spare him from a jail sentence.

Instead Innes was placed on the sex offenders’ register and a supervision order for the next 12 months. He will also have to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Innes admitted repeatedly sending written sexual communication to a girl under the age of 16, requesting her to send him intimate images and discussing engaging in sexual activity at his home address between March 21 and 28 last year.