A SELF-CONFESSED “addict” was found with more than 10,000 indecent images of children he collected over three years.

George Healy, of Shakespeare Avenue, Clydebank, previously pleaded guilty to taking, permitting to be taken, or making indecent photos or pseudo-photos of children, and to possession of images between May 29, 2017 and July 27, 2020.

The 66-year-old also admitted distributing or showing indecent images or pseudo-images on July 27 last year.

Healy was found to have five devices with a total of more than 4,500 still images - 723 of them at the most serious category A level.

A further 2,687 moving images were found - 1,348 of them at category A.

Police also found Healy had saved more than 3,000 files on cloud storage.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court previously heard the ages depicted ranged from two years to 14.

When police arrived at his home, he told them: “I have got an addiction.”

At Healy’s sentencing hearing on July 7, defence QC Sean Templeton said his client was a first offender.

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry questioned whether Healy had attempted some “minimisation” of his crimes in an interview with a social worker.

He said there had been “three years of viewing and retaining these”, with many at the “upper end of the scale”.

Healy’s QC said: “He recognises the harm that’s caused as a result of this.”

Sheriff Hendry said Healy had submitted a letter to the court that said: “I only wish it was possible to undo the damage that was done to these children.”

The sheriff added: “Which of course, it isn’t.”

Mr Templeton said his client would accept all conditions imposed on him as a sex offender should he be spared prison.

Sheriff Hendry told Healy: “I want you to clearly follow my thinking. The offences you committed over a series of years merit a prison sentence. You deserve to go to prison.

“I’m just persuaded there are alternatives.”

But instead of a jail term, Sheriff Hendry imposed a community payback order which will see Healy supervised by social workers until July 2024.

Healy was also ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work in the community within the next three years, and will be on the sex offenders register for three years.

A sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) was also imposed for five years.

Healy’s digital devices will be monitored and he is banned from contacting anyone under the age of 16.

Sheriff Hendry added: “I read your letter. If you could turn back time, you would, but you can’t, and You have to face up to what you did and pay for the consequences.”