A YOUNG pervert has been locked up for having indecent images of children - AGAIN.

Benjamin Campbell, 21, previously appeared in court as a teenager after being caught with thousands of still images and videos.

But he did the same crime again on a secret phone and returned to Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week with a rucksack, knowing what was likely.

Sentencing guidelines for under 25 year olds insist on avoiding custody whenever possible.

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said there was simply no choice to protect the public.

In 2021, when aged 18, he was spared jail for his first crime and put on the sex offenders register.

While on it, he took or permitted to be taken indecent images, and he had possession of indecent images, between December 1, 2021 and April 26, 2022.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in January.

READ MORE: Dumbarton sex offender admits second offence of indecent images

Sheriff Hendry opened the sentencing hearing on March 5 by stating he could not rule anything out, requiring a security officer in the courtroom.

Defence solicitor Judith Reid said her client had indicated he wanted to plead guilty to the charges early on. But they had to wait for a full cyber crime report before the Crown could accept it.

"He is still only 21 and perhaps that's the driving force of the plea," she said. "There is a strong history of immaturity."

She added that her client had shown a "real change" while subject to a past community payback order (CPO).

But Sheriff Hendry said the current offences were just months into that order.

Ms Reid said there had been no further offending in the two years since Campbell, of Dunbuie Avenue, Dumbarton, was charged.

"Those two years have gone by with improvements," she said.

She said her client was largely isolated, but alcohol and drugs had not been an issue in some time.

He had employment but lost it because of the earlier case.

"He has brought a bag," said Ms Reid. "For the last two years, this has really been held over him.

"A CPO is still considered suitable by social work.

"He is still a very young man who would fall within the sentencing guidelines.

"He knows what he has to lose here if he breaks any [non-custodial] order."

Sheriff Hendry interjected and said: "He was placed on a CPO in May 2021 and this offending started about seven months after this.

"He had a phone when the house was searched. It had not been registered but he had been on an order for almost a year.

"He was asked to provide the pin and he refused - another form of non-compliance.

"There were both still and moving images and quite a few were category A.

"It's quite, quite clear that this is not a victim-free offence."

Ms Reid replied: "I'm aware he is in dangerous territory. He has shown fairly improved maturity. He is a very isolated young man."

Turning to Campbell, Sheriff Hendry said: "I think Ms Reid said everything that could be said.

"My view is this passes the custody threshold and I would be failing if I did anything other than send you to custody.

"They were disgraceful pictures and children were clearly seen to be suffering."

Campbell was detained for 16 months and put on the sex offenders register for 10 years into his 30s.

When he is released, he will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order with strict measures for the next five years.

The full details were not read out in court, but one condition was removed: banning any use of the internet.