Police raided the home of a 30-year-old Grantown-on-Spey man and found around 2,500 indecent images of young girls on his computer.
Officers had received intelligence from a child abuse monitoring agency that a website had been accessed and the information led to Waterford Cottages where Zsolt Zele lived.
A search warrant was executed on July 24 last year, Inverness Sheriff Court was told, and Zele’s computer was seized.
Subsequent analysis showed that 2,500 images of the lowest category of obscenity had been downloaded on June 30, 2015.
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Fiscal depute Robert Weir said the stills were of seven- to 15-year-old girls posing in an erotic manner.
Sentence had been deferred for a background report.
Yesterday defence solicitor Marc Dickson told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that Zele had left university and was unable to tell his parents.
“He was living a lie at the time, fell into depression and was suicidal. The downloading was done at the time. His parents are incredibly disappointed in him as he is with himself.”
The Sheriff ordered Zele to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, take part in a sex offender’s programme and remain under three years of social work supervision.
He was also placed on the Sex Offender’s Register for the same period.