A COMPUTER specialist who changed his name in a bid to hide a past child abuse conviction has been caught sending sexual messages to a teenage girl.

Damian Andrews, 54, sent the posts to the 15-year-old victim on the social media platform Snapchat, including asking her if she “would dress like a ****” if they met up.

Andrews denied having contact with the child but was snared after police found vile chat logs on a mobile phone he had stashed in a cooker hood at his flat on Harbour Road, Musselburgh.

He deleted the messages from the device in a bid to hide his depravity but a cyber crime investigation proved he had been sending the messages to the girl in February last year.

Andrews was known as Damian Lynch when he was convicted four years ago of sending naked images and sexual messages to the online profiles of two schoolgirls.

READ MORE: Woman admits to trying to strike shopkeeper with an axe

He was caught out after the social media profiles he was in contact with turned out to be operated by undercover female police officers between July and November 2018

Police raided his home in 2020 and also discovered child abuse footage store on a computer - including images of a five year old girl being abused.

The capital’s sheriff court was told that the former soldier was identified by officers as being the man in the videos due to his distinctive tribal tattoos.

Andrews - who owned IT firm DAL Consultancy Ltd - escaped a jail term then and was placed on the sex offenders' register for three years and ordered to stay away from public areas when children were present.

He was back in the dock at the city court this week where he stood trial after denying he had sent sexual communications to a 15-year-old girl on February 28 last year.

A jury heard that police attended Andrews’ home after receiving intelligence and, following a search, seized a number of electronic devices including three mobile phones.

The trial was told Andrews had voluntarily handed all his devices over but officers suspected there was a hidden phone in the flat after finding an empty box for an iPhone 12.

Officers also activated the Find My iPhone application on an iPad belonging to Andrews which showed an outstanding device was still within the property.

READ MORE: Woman arrested following alleged disturbance in Tranent

Andrews denied any knowledge of a further iPhone but eventually confessed to police that he had hidden the mobile in the cooker hood in his kitchen.

He told police he had stashed the work phone in the unusual hiding place to stop him using it while he was not working.

Following a cyber crime examination, it was found that the device contained 52 deleted sexual Snapchat messages between Andrews and a 15-year-old school girl.

Andrews claimed he had bought a second hand mobile phone that already held the illicit chat that was then downloaded to his work phone when he connected the devices to his iCloud.

But the jury failed to believe his web of lies and, after deliberating for about 90 minutes, they returned a majority guilty verdict on Wednesday.

Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss placed the father-of-two on the sex offenders' register and remanded him in custody.

Sentence was deferred to next month for social work reports to be prepared and for a restriction of liberty order assessment.