A MAN tried to get a 12-year-old girl to send him nude images of herself over Snapchat, a court has heard.

William Everett, 36, forced his victim to travel from Australia to give evidence against him before pleading guilty at the last minute.

He admitted at a previous court appearance to intentionally and for the purposes of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, distressing or alarming the 12-year-old by sending sexual communications and attempting to induce her to send nude images of herself.

The offence involved a property in Clydebank and elsewhere and happened on December 27 and 28, 2021.

Everett, of East Kilbride, appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on March 5 for sentencing.

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry expressed concern Everett was trying to roll back on his earlier plea.

"The narrative was read out, he accepted the narrative," he said, noting that the man claimed he couldn't remember what happened, but also that he thought the girl was an adult.

The defence solicitor accepted that "clearly intrinsic in this offence is psychological harm" to the child - which the sheriff pointed out would have been made worse by forcing them to travel to Scotland to testify.

"He seems to recognise there's a problem," said the lawyer. "He seems to show genuine remorse. He realises this is a thoroughly unpleasant offence and the emotional impact.

"He does accept realise and I think he does show insight and remorse."

The sheriff asked if Everett's employment was at risk and the defence solicitor replied: "If there's any publicity, his job will be at risk."

He added that his client got into a "financial mess" of £30,000, which he had since cleared.

The solicitor added: "There's a realistic prospect of rehabilitation in this case. A previous issue with cocaine and alcohol is clearly involved in this offence."

Sheriff Hendry told Everett a case earlier in the day had seen a sex offender locked up, but that he was "just persuaded" he could deal with him otherwise.

A community payback order was imposed with supervision by social workers for three years - the maximum allowed.

He will have to do 280 hours of unpaid work within the first 12 months, with conduct requirements including engaging with the community addiction recovery team and taking part in the "Moving Forward, Making Changes" programme.

He will be on the sex offenders register for three years.