Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Paedophile Michael Harris begs police: 'Shoot me'

High Court in Glasgow
Image caption The court heard that Harris was caught after a colleague saw footage on his memory stick

A child rapist who filmed his abuse of two young girls told police: "Just take me out and shoot me."

Michael Harris admitted carrying out the attacks on his victims - one aged just two - at his home in Dunfermline.

The 60-year-old - an account manager for an electrical firm - was caught when a colleague found a video clip on a memory stick belonging to Harris.

Police eventually uncovered a hoard of more than 275,000 indecent photos and film that Harris had stored.

At the High Court in Glasgow, Harris pleaded guilty to rape, abuse and possessing indecent images of children.

The court heard how the abuse was discovered in September last year after Harris offered a workmate a loan of his USB stick.

The colleague discovered a film saved on it of Harris abusing a young girl at his home.

High amount

The man immediately informed bosses before police were alerted.

Harris, a father-of-two, was detained at work before his home was searched.

Prosecutor Martin Macari said officers discovered "an unusually high amount of indecent content".

Some had been stored under names like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Playtime".

The court heard that Harris was seen in one clip raping a two-year-old girl as she slept.

Other footage showed him abusing the same child when she was older, up to the age of seven.

Harris also targeted another young girl at his home from when she was about three until she was eight.

He was found to have filmed a third child naked in the bath - starting when she was six months old.

But the court heard there was "no footage of contact offending" with that child.

'Shoot me'

Police found a total of 275,325 indecent photos and 1,252 video clips.

They included footage Harris had taken himself and other content downloaded from the internet.

Harris initially denied to police being a paedophile before going on to claim he was "stupid".

He later went on to say: "Just take me out and shoot me."

Asked why he had done "bad things", he added: "It is difficult to understand sometime. I'm just weird."

Harris pleaded guilty to raping one girl and two charges of using lewd and libidinous practices against her between 2009 and 2014.

He also admitted a further two allegations of lewd and libidinous conduct against the second girl between those dates.

Harris also pleaded guilty to a separate charge, under the Sexual Offences Act, of filming the third girl in the bath.

He further admitted two charges of possessing indecent images of children dating between 1996 and 2014.

Gordon Martin, defending, said: "He is devastated by his actions. He can only say sorry."

Lord Bannatyne deferred sentencing until next month for reports.

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