A PERVERTED pensioner who is “addicted” to seeing children being raped has been caged after he was caught with nearly half-a-million sex abuse images.

Johnstone man James Barr had a laptop and a total of 92 USB sticks crammed with 465,000 images of young children being raped and tortured.

The 72-year-old fiend was busted by police at his home in Thorn Brae in August and appeared in court before being released on bail, with special conditions designed to prevent him from accessing more illegal images online.

But when cops paid him another visit in January this year to carry out a bail check, they found another laptop and two further USB devices crammed with a further 24,885 images he had downloaded.

Barr admitted his sordid behaviour when he appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court last month, pleading guilty to downloading abuse images at his home on various occasions between January 1, 2012, and January 31 this year.

Procurator fiscal depute Keri Marshall 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 girls, 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, being forced to perform sex acts on grown men.

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

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

When Barr returned to the dock on Friday to learn his fate, Sheriff Ireland was asked to consider placing him on a community-based disposal that would allow him to go to counselling.

However, he ruled that Barr should spent 27 months behind bars, reduced from three years as he had admitted his guilt.

Barr was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

A spokesman for children’s charity NSPCC Scotland described the case as “particularly shocking.”

He added: “Barr blatantly broke his bail conditions to download even more vile images of children suffering the most horrific abuse.

“Behind every sickening image accumulated by Barr are real children whose lives will be ruined. His actions have only fuelled the demand for this sickening material to be produced and it is vital he receives effective treatment behind bars to help prevent his continued offending.

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

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