An Irvine man has pleaded guilty to downloading and possessing child abuse images in his home over a period of eight years.

James McCormack, 66, of East Bowhouse Way, admitted charges of possessing and of taking, permitting to be taken or making indecent images of children between November 1, 2014 and March 1, 2022.

McCormack’s lawyer told a hearing at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court that his client was “finding it tough to acknowledge he has engaged in this kind of activity”.

He added: “He is finding it difficult to come to terms given the nature of the offences.”

Sheriff Colin Bisset told McCormack: “I can well understand why someone in your position might not accept that they downloaded these images, but that is not a suitable mindset for work in the community.

“We want to stop you recommitting these disgusting offences.

"Nobody in this district would bat an eyelid to sending you to custody.”

Sentencing was deferred for a report which will assess McCormack’s suitability for rehabilitation programmes.

He will return to court later this month.

Bail conditions remain in place restricting his internet use and his access to children.