Cabaret singer Darren Whyte sent sexual messages to children
A cabaret singer who sent sexual messages to children on social media was caught when a fellow performer discovered them, a court has heard.
Darren Whyte, 26, struck up conversations with seven girls aged 13 to 15 and a 15-year-old boy.
A singer who performed with Whyte and had access to his Facebook account saw the exchanges and called police.
Falkirk Sheriff Court was told the offences took place over almost six months in 2014 and 2015.
Graham McLachlan, prosecuting, said: "They were both singers performing at venues and the friend had access to the accused's Facebook to allow them to advertise engagements and suchlike.
"During the course of this, the friend became aware of certain contact that the accused had with people under 16, and noticed some of this was of a sexual nature."
The depute fiscal said the friend confronted Whyte, of Tillicoultry, who said he had been suffering from anxiety.
Mr McLachlan said: "He downloaded from the account a large amount of information onto a disc, and reported the matter to the police."
Officers analysed "chat logs" from the disc and found that Whyte had been taking part in a series of sexualised online conversations with teenage girls and with the teenage boy.
Whyte was arrested, and gave a "no comment" interview.
He pleaded guilty to six charges of intentionally sending written sexual communications to children, and two of sending sexual images to children.
Sheriff John Mundy deferred sentence until May for social background reports and told Whyte: "These are a number of serious charges."