A 60-year-old paedophile downloaded more than 10,000 of images of children being sexually abused, a court heard.

Loudon Stewart, of New Cumnock, is facing a prison sentence for accessing scores of hard-core movies and thousands of still images of youngsters on the internet.

His name was added to the sex offenders’ register with immediate effect after he pleaded guilty to the indictment charge at Livingston Sheriff Court last week.

Details of his conviction will also be notified to Scottish Ministers under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups legislation.

Stewart admitted unlawfully “taking or making” the photographs and films over a four year period.

He committed the offence at his then home in Blackridge, West Lothian between November 2013 and November 2017.

His not guilty pleas to possessing indecent photographs of children and “extreme pornographic images depicting in an explicit and realistic way acts of bestiality” were accepted by the Crown.

Jim Robertson, prosecuting, said police officers went to the accused’s home armed with a search warrant on November 6 last year.

He said officers had received information that his IP address had been used to download illegal child pornography.

Police seized his laptop computer and three external hard drives, which were submitted to IT experts for forensic examination.

They discovered 86 movies and 10,643 still images, showing girls and boys either being raped or sexually abused, or naked or partially clothed in provocative poses.

Mr Robertson said 48 movies, most of them found stored on Stewart’s hard drives, fell into Category A, deemed the most severe.

Images classed in the worst category generally depict gross assault and sadism and include obscene images involving extreme sexual activity and depict a child subjected to pain.

There were 16 movies and one still image in Category B – the mid-range in terms of seriousness covering explicit sexual activity.

The rest – 22 movies and thousands of still images fell into the least severe category ‘C’.

Glen Fraser, defending, said Stewart had split from his wife.

He has also amoved from the marital home to New Cumnock since being charged with the offences.

He said he would reserve his plea in mitigation until his client appeared for sentencing.

Sheriff Douglas Kinloch called for a criminal justice social work report.

He also ordered an assessment of Stewart’s suitability for unpaid work and a restriction of liberty order.

He adjourned the case until the beginning of September.