A PERVERT former councillor who hoarded hundreds of indecent images of children while in the heart of Clydebank life 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 as a campaigner. 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.

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.