A sex beast who photographed himself horrifically abusing a toddler and then sent the images to another paedophile was today jailed for nine years.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Nicholas Cole admitted sexually abusing the two year-old boy at his home in Hamilton, Lanarkshire last year.

Jailing Cole judge Lord Beckett told him: “This was gross and outrageous behaviour, depraved conduct towards children which outrages the public.

“It is apparent you did not just do this for your own gratification, but also at the behest of paedophiles you had met online and with whom you shared images and moving images.”

The High Court in Glasgow heard that 43-year-old Cole was in contact with other paedophiles online. One of them described Cole as “a legend.”

He forwarded two indecent pictures of the boy to one individual he was in contact with.

Lord Beckett ordered Cole to be on licence for five years after his release from prison and placed him on the sex offenders' register.

First offender Cole pleaded guilty to five charges committed between July 2018 and September 2019.

These included the sexual assault of the boy, and taking pictures of another young boy, conspiring with others to commit sexual offences against children as well as distributing or showing indecent photographs.

Prosecutor Lindsey Dalziel said that Cole's home was raided last September.

His iPhone and iPad were seized. A total of 141 photos and 21 video clips of young boys were found.

This included the abuse of the two year-old at Cole's home between May and September 2019.

The often graphic chats Cole had with other perverts were also traced.

There was discussion of being with a boy to meet one paedophile.

This individual “taunted” Cole, who then replied: “It is a big f*****g deal, man. Sorry for just not handing him over to you.

“It is just not that easy to get him away from his mum for a couple of hours.”

The court heard Drumpellier Park in Lanarkshire had been suggested as a possible location to meet.

Defence counsel Rhonda Anderson, defending, said: “These were atrocious acts. His behaviour was despicable. At the time he says he was suffering from depression and low self esteem.

“He has had difficulty coming to terms with the horror of what he has done. He says he got involved in online conversations with individuals who encouraged him. He realises the significant harm he has caused.

“He exhibits clear remorse and tremendous shame.”

Cole showed no emotion as he was led away to the cells.