A CHILDREN’S charity has slammed the “sickening” behaviour of a perverted pensioner who was caught with nearly half-a-million images of kids being abused.

Johnstone man James Barr, 72, was busted by police at his home in the town’s Thorn Brae in August last year, with officers discovering 465,064 child abuse images stored on a laptop and 92 USB sticks.

He appeared in court over the find and was released on bail, with special conditions designed to prevent him from accessing more illegal images online.

But when officers arrived at his home in January this year to carry out a bail check, they found another laptop and two further USB devices which were crammed with a further 24,885 images.

That took Barr’s total haul to 489,949 – and he held his hands up over his sordid obsession when he appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court last week.

He pleaded guilty to downloading abuse images at his home on various occasions between January 1, 2012, and January 31 this year.

Procurator fiscal depute Keri Marshal told the court Barr had both still images and films, many of which were categorised as being the most serious there is.

The children being abused in the images were mostly females, aged between six months and 16 years, but some also featured boys.

As well as videos of young girls being raped, he had files which showed youngsters bound and gagged as they were forced to perform sex acts on grown men.

One of the videos he was caught with even showed a boy and a girl, both aged between four and six, having sex with each other.

After hearing the amount of images Barr had downloaded, and the fact he had continued to do it after being caught initially, was because he has “an addiction to it,” Sheriff Seith Ireland called for background reports ahead of sentencing.

He released Barr on bail for that to be done but warned he could be caged when sentenced next month.

Sheriff Ireland said: “What happens may well be custody but there’s no compelling reason his bail should not be continued – although he may not still be at liberty after the next calling of the case. That remains to be seen.”

He ordered that Barr be assessed by social workers and professionals who help to rehabilitate sex offenders ahead of sentencing.

A spokesman for children’s charity NSPCC Scotland said it was “a particularly shocking case.”

He added: “Barr blatantly broke the conditions of bail restricting his internet use to download even more vile images.

“Behind every sickening image accumulated by Barr are real children suffering appalling abuse and his actions have only fuelled the demand for this sickening material to be produced.

“The production and distribution of images of child abuse is a global criminal industry and the war against it is only just beginning.”