A “dangerous and predatory” man who sexually abused a young girl and published images of child sexual abuse online has been convicted.
John Johnstone, 43, pleaded guilty to Dundee Sheriff Court to a number of charges including performing a sexual act in the presence of a child and taking and distributing indecent images of children online.
His sentencing has been deferred for a later date.
It comes after officers from Police Scotland launched an investigation into Johnstone after receiving intelligence that he had uploaded indecent images of a child to the Dark Web.
A number of forensic examinations and enquiries were carried out prior to Johnstone’s arrest on July 29 this year.
Detective Chief Inspector Richie Banks, of Police Scotland’s National Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “John Johnstone is a dangerous and predatory individual whose levels of hidden criminal activity over a number of years show he was not only a risk to children in Scotland, but worldwide.
“His guilty plea today is testament to the investigative work undertaken by officers across Police Scotland and partner agencies.
“Online offenders may think they are anonymous, and they may not comprehend the terrible, devastating and lifelong impact their actions have on children. But there is no excuse for their actions. Online images of child abuse and exploitation are not virtual, they show the very real abuse of a real child.
“Police Scotland’s current #GetHelpOrGetCaught campaign proactively targets those who are either already offending or at risk of offending online, and provides signposts to available support.
“Police Scotland is committed to the protection of children and to bringing all perpetrators of sexual abuse to justice. We would urge anyone who wishes to report any child protection concerns or sexual crime to contact us on 101 so we can conduct a thorough investigation.”