A PERVERT from Tullibody who sexually abused a boy every week for seven years is behind bars.

Thomas Gold had supposedly been looking after the youngster, whose mum had the mental age of a child, when he carried out his sickening attacks.

Gold was eventually snared last September when his victim went to the police after telling relatives what had gone on.

The 45-year-old was remanded in custody on Tuesday after he admitted at the High Court in Glasgow to repeatedly abusing the boy between 1996 and 2003.

Judge Lord Bannatyne warned him he will face an extended sentence when he returns to the dock in September.

The court heard the boy was attacked during regular visits to Gold's then home in Tullibody from the age of seven. The youngster would also often go out canvassing with Gold, who was a Jehovah Witness.

The boy initially stopped seeing Gold when he was 12 as he was fed up reading the Bible and visiting the local Kingdom Hall, but the abuse soon resumed.

The victim - now in his 20s - kept quiet until he decided last year to tell elders at his Jehovah group of what happened.

Alison Di Rollo, prosecuting, said he was warned he would be "disfellowshipped" as the Christian organisation frowned upon homosexual acts. He then told relatives before finally going to the police. Gold was later quizzed and told officers, "I suspected it would come out at one point." The court was told the victim has been left "suicidal and depressed". He has also been banished meantime from other Jehovah Witnesses for what went on.

Gold - who was put on the sex offenders' list - is due to be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on 7 September.