A “CREEPY” photographer was spotted taking snaps of women exercising on a county beach.

Samuel Bartholomew was seen photographing unsuspecting females as they enjoyed an exercise session on the sands near to the Promenade in Musselburgh.

A concerned passer-by had watched the amateur snapper as he stood and knelt at the side of the beach in a bid to get better shots of the women.

And when police pulled him over around an hour later they inspected his camera and found close-up shots of female bottoms and chests.

Bartholomew pleaded guilty to an amended charge of breaching the peace by taking photos of females exercising and placing people in a state of fear and alarm at the Promenade area of Musselburgh when he appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

The court heard that the witness was sitting on the prom with two friends when she spotted the 47-year-old snapper “taking photos of people on the beach” at about 7.30pm on July 5.

Peter Motion, prosecutor, said: “The accused was both standing and kneeling while taking the photographs.

“Due to her concerns she contacted the police and followed the accused and advised the police of his registration plate.

“Around 8pm the accused car was stopped and they explained to him why he had been stopped.

“The officers asked to look at the camera and the accused agreed and it was noted there was images of women bending over on the beach.

“They included close-ups of women’s chest and bottom areas. Those images appeared to be zoomed-in images.

“The witness thought he was creepy and took a picture of him on her phone while he was sitting on a bench with his camera.”

Sheriff Frank Crowe told Bartholomew, a shelf stacker at a local store, he was fortunate an angry boyfriend had not seen him taking the snaps and come over and assaulted him.

Solicitor Nigel Bruce said his client was “embarrassed about the whole situation” and that he led “a relatively lonely existence”.

Sheriff Crowe added: “This is very much on the borderline but it is certainly not proper conduct.

“In the wrong situation if you did this again some boyfriend might come over, snatch the camera from you and assault you on the spot.

“The witness did the right thing as she thought you were creepy and she contacted the police, but by and large people were unaware of what you were doing.”

Sheriff Crowe warned Bartholomew, from Mayfield, Midlothian, about his future conduct and decided to admonish him on the charge.