A CONVICTED sex offender from Kirkcudbright allowed his elderly mother to be held by police after thousands of indecent images of children were discovered at her home.
The woman – in her 70s – was detained in August this year after police raided her property in Dalbeattie.
Her son Robert Falconbridge had earlier accessed the internet at her house to collect a large stash of child porn on computers that were seized.
But, the 44 year-old refused to confess meaning his innocent mum was held in police custody until being freed the next day and the pensioner later handed in to police a laptop and PC in which more indecent images were stored.
It lead to Falconbridge last week pleading guilty to three child porn charges when he appeared at the High Court in Glasgow.
It emerged he was already on the sex offenders list for life having earlier been convicted of similar offences as well as a sex attack on a young boy.
He faces a lengthy jail-term when he returns to the dock next month.
The court heard how police probing indecent images offences searched Falconbridge’s mum’s home in January this year.
The OAP and her son were there at the time.
Prosecutor Bill McVicar told how Falconbridge “spent a considerable amount of time there” where he was able to trawl online.
Officers took away computer equipment while a similar search meantime was carried out at Falconbridge’s home in Buchanan Street, Kirkcudbright.
Indecent images were found which resulted in both the sex offender and his elderly mum being detained in August this year.
Mr McVicar told how the pensioner denied knowledge, but confirmed her son accessed the internet at her home on the computers.
But the advocate depute said Falconbridge – rather than immediately accept his guilt – made no comment to police.
The court heard how the mum then spent the night in custody before finally being released.
However, she returned to the police station with more incriminating evidence when she handed in another laptop and PC computer that her son used.
Mr McVicar said a total of 11,367 still indecent images and 280 video clips were found on the various devices seized at both properties.
Some were at the worst end of the scale used to grade such material.
The computer equipment handed in by Falconbridge’s mum revealed images with “creation dates” after the initial police searches in January this year.
Judge Lord Doherty remanded Falconbridge in custody and deferred sentencing until November 28 at the High Court in Edinburgh.