A nursery worker who filmed himself sexually abusing two young brothers has been jailed for eight years.
Alexander Mortimer, 28, had 17,967 images and 582 videos of child pornography on his computer.
Sentencing Mortimer at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, judge Lady Stacey told him the images were "vile".
She continued: “I will not describe them any further. People who get access to this sort of thing through the internet have to accept responsibility for the abuse by whoever took the photographs of the children in the first place.
“You are an intelligent person and you have to take responsibility for what you have done. I have to take note of the planning you did and the work you did.”
The nursery worker, from Rutherglen in Lanarkshire, began looking after the brothers - a two-year-old and a three-year-old - after befriending their mother and grandmother. He began to help looking after the boys and sometimes took them on trips.
Mortimer was caught after "intelligence" led police to raid his home and seize computer and phone equipment.
When questioned by police about the computer images, he claimed that he was writing essays on physical child abuse and may have inadvertently accessed some internet sites as part of his research. The officers were suspicious when they noticed the abuser in some of the photos was wearing a watch like Mortimer's.
T-shirts and a jacket seen in the photos were found at Mortimer's home. Mortimer suffers from eczema and a slight deformity of one finger. Forensic anthropologist Professor Susan Black compared photos of his hands with images from Mortimer's computer and found a number of similarities.
Advocate depute Alison Di Rollo told the court that the boys' mother and grandmother felt "angry, upset and guilty" for allowing the contact between them and Mortimer.
"The offences have also had a wider impact in the community, generating significant anxiety among parents of children who have been in contact with, or in the case of, the accused," she added.
South Lanarkshire Council sacked Mortimer and set up support for those affected.
Defence QC Brian McConnachie said Mortimer had co-operated with the investigation by providing police with passwords to access the computer files and had spared the brothers from having to give evidence. The lawyer told how Mortimer seemed addicted to the internet and had lost hundreds of pounds online gambling. He once won £50,000 then lost it again. He turned to viewing pornography, and the child pornography was "an escalation" of that.
Mr McConnachie said although it was no excuse Mortimer had been abused and, as a result of what he told police, another man was facing charges.
Mr McConnachie said: "Clearly, in the light of the nature of the offences to which Mortimer had pleaded guilty there is very little or nothing I am going to be able to say which will in any way diminish the serious nature of the offences."
Mortimer, who is a first offender, admitted possessing indecent images of children in January and downloading child pornography during the previous three years. Mortimer also admitted molesting the two year old and his three-year-old brother.
He further admitted that between April 2011 and January 2012 he took them to supermarkets, public toilets and an amusement to take indecent photos of them.
The judge told Mortimer that he was a danger to children and made an order that he be banned from ever working with children again.
The judge ruled that after his prison sentence Mortimer would remain under "very robust supervision" for a further seven years.
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