A TRANENT man shared a child abuse movie with fellow paedophiles while he was a member of a WhatsApp group, a court has heard.

Brian Harding posted the disturbing Category A video – showing a young girl being sexually abused by an adult – to others via the messaging app from his home last year.

Harding, of James Ross Place, was also found to have downloaded indecent images featuring children posing erotically.

The 53-year-old appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Thursday where he pleaded guilty to possessing and sharing indecent images of children.

Prosecutor Jade Doig told the court that cyber crime officers with Police Scotland received intelligence that child abuse images had been downloaded at Harding’s address in February last year.

Police raided his home the following month, where his shocked wife told officers that Harding had already left for work at a builder’s merchant in Edinburgh.

Computer equipment was viewed, then seized, and Harding was traced to his place of employment, where he was arrested at about 10.30am on March 26 last year.

Ms Doig said that Harding told officers during a police interview he “was a member of a couple of WhatsApp groups and had been sent things that he had deleted straight away due to their content”.

The fiscal said that Harding had been sent four category C images showing girls aged between eight and 11 posing in an erotic manner.

He was also sent two videos by another paedophile showing children being sexually abused which were subsequently found on his mobile phone.

Harding, a first offender, then reposted one of the movies for others to view within the online WhatsApp group.

Solicitor Leslie Cunningham said she would reserve her mitigation to the sentencing hearing.

Sheriff John Mundy placed Harding on the sex offenders’ register and deferred sentence to next month for the preparation of reports.

Harding admitted charges of possessing and making indecent photographs or videos of children at his home address between October 28, 2018, and March 26 last year. He also pleaded guilty to distributing indecent photographs or videos of children at the same address on February 23 last year.