A BONHILL man who was caught with more than 500 child sex abuse images claimed he had them in a bid to try to help someone he knew who had been sexually assaulted.

Adam Downs – a former worker at the SSPCA rescue centre in Milton – told police he was looking for pictures of a victim he knew to use as evidence against the abuser when he was caught with the indecent images on two discs, a camera and mobile phone.

He was also in possession of a moving image.

But Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard officers pointed out the title of the images – including “Thai teen” and “Russian schoolgirl” – did not match the description of the person he claimed to be helping.

The 33-year-old, of Braehead, pleaded guilty to making or taking indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children or permitting them to be taken between March 2005 and June 2016 at SSPCA House in Milton.

He also pleaded guilty to having indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children in his possession.

Depute fiscal David McDonald said: “Two discs marked ‘graphics old and new’ and ‘graphics disc two’ and a mini HD camera and mobile phone were recovered and seized for examination.

“Officers from the cyber crime unit attended. They found indecent images of children on the two discs.”

After a full examination, the first disc – within a folder titled “new vids” – was found to contain four indecent images of children and one moving image of children classed as category C, the court heard.

Within disc two, one category B still image was discovered along with 259 at category C inside a folder labelled “jessy and jailbate”.

The camera’s storage card revealed 254 images – including 50 at category A, 43 at category E and 161 at category C – all of which had been deleted and were no longer accessible to Downs. A further seven category C images were found on the mobile phone but had also been deleted and were no longer accessible.

Douglas Thomson, Downs’ defence agent, said: “Clearly this is a case in which reports will be required. He’s a first offender and has been on bail.”

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry told Downs: “This is clearly potentially a very serious matter and I need to know as much as possible about you (before sentencing).”

Sentence was deferred for a criminal justice social work report and notification requirements of the sexual offences act until April 19. Mr McDonald put forward a motion for forfeiture of the recovered discs and camera, which Sheriff Hendry deferred to the same date.

Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent, said: “As soon as the society was aware that Mr Downs had been arrested he was immediately suspended.

“I can confirm that Mr Downs, who was the assistant manager and lived in the residential property at our Dunbartonshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre, has not been employed by the Scottish SPCA since August 2016.”