A PERVERT former Scottish Labour councillor who hoarded hundreds of indecent images of children has been jailed.

Craig Edward, 34, resigned as an independent councillor for Clydebank Central a month after pleading guilty to three sex crimes.

He returned to Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on March 26 from his home in Calne, Wiltshire, England, having fled from Scotland.

The court previously heard Edward's iPhone 10 was found with 599 still images and 93 videos of children, some as young as a baby.

He had a child PVG certificate at the time he had 69 still images at the most serious category A.

Of the videos, 67 were the most serious, with one showing an "alarmed and distressed baby".

Police found 55 contacts in a group on the app Telegram and Edward initiated conversation with the word "trade" 15 times. Six contacts participated in the trade of images. Officers are investigating the contacts.

In February he pleaded guilty to possession of indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children at an address in Crown Avenue and elsewhere on various occasions between March 6, 2016, and September 26, 2022.

He also took or permitted to be taken or made indecent photos or pseudo-photos of children during the same period.

And on various occasions between September 20, 2022, and September 22, 2022, he distributed or showed indecent photos or pseudo-photos of children.

During the period of his crimes, Edward was an SNP activist and tried to stand as a councillor for the party before quitting for Labour.

He was elected as a Labour councillor for Clydebank Central in May 2022 and removed from the party after he was arrested that September.

Fellow Labour councillors had filed a motion to West Dunbartonshire Council calling for him to resign just before he quit with immediate effect earlier this month.

In court today, he was jailed for 28 months. 

Edward was placed on a sexual harm prevention order for five years and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years. 

Sheriff William Gallacher said the descriptions of the images "plumb the depths of depravity and abuse". 

Edward showed zero emotion when handed the sentence.

An NSPCC Scotland spokesperson said: “As a local councillor, Edward held a position of trust within the community, yet at home he was downloading and creating horrendous images of child abuse.

“These crimes are far from victimless. By viewing and sharing illegal images of children, Edward has fuelled demand in such material which can impact children for the rest of their lives.

“We hope the outcome of this case demonstrates nobody is immune from the law, regardless of the position they hold in society.

“Any adults concerned about a child’s safety or wellbeing can contact the NSPCC Helpline at help@nspcc.org.uk or by calling 0808 800 5000.

"Children who have been affected by this, or any other issue, can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk.”