POLICE have praised the bravery of the young, female victims of a Dunfermline man's "vile behaviour".

The Force issued a statement to say Andrea Gkertsos had been sentenced after they said he'd admitted a number of offences relating to threatening to disclose and release intimate images obtained over social media.

The police statement read: "Andrea Gkertsos, from Dunfermline, pleaded guilty to nine charges, which also included one attempted extortion, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this month.

"On Tuesday, he was given a one-year restriction of liberty order and put on the sex offenders' register for three years at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

"It followed an investigation by detectives from Edinburgh Division who identified the 20-year-old as being responsible for anonymous accounts on various platforms which were used to contact teenage females.

"He would then demand intimate images or tell the targets that the account already had images of them before demanding money or sometimes further pictures to prevent the images being released."

Detective Sergeant Mark Seymour said: “This was a complex investigation as criminals like Gkertsos go to great lengths to hide their predatory activity online behind anonymous accounts and other levels of protections.

“His conduct was malicious and had a lasting effect on the young women he targeted. It is thanks to their bravery in coming forward that his vile behaviour has been exposed and I hope the outcome in court provides a degree of closure for them.

“Becoming a victim of extortion is devastating, particularly if the extortion involves the threat of sexual exposure.

“If you are concerned you or someone you know has become the target of someone attempting to extort you online please come forward and speak to us.

“Every report will be treated seriously and we are committed to bringing offenders like Gkertsos to justice.”