TV viewers have been left horrified after a paedophile in notorious Glasgow prison Barlinnie said “kids seem to enjoy” being sexually abused.

The astonishing statement was made in Ross Kemp’s ITV documentary in which the soap star turned investigative journalist explored life behind bars at the Riddrie-based facility.

Speaking to the sick criminal in E Hall - which holds around 280 sex offenders - the man, who is serving four years for his third offence of downloading indecent images of children, told Kemp he wants to “keep an open mind” when asked if he ever thinks about the young children who are abused in the photos.

The paedophile further left viewers open-mouthed when he said he believed he should be released - because he “didn’t see what harm [I] would do on the outside.”

Sex offenders are the fastest-growing group of inmates in the UK prison service today and E Hall now holds four times as many child abusers than it did a decade ago.

An increasing number are older in age as historic abuse claims now go through the courts; the oldest sex offender in Barlinnie is 89 years of age and needs carers to visit him twice a day.

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Kemp, 53, took to his Twitter to interact with audiences after the show.

He told one man he found life in the wing “very hard, especially as a father.” Kemp recently became father to twin daughters.

He also said: “E hall was one of the hardest places I’ve ever had to visit in the UK.”

Having admitted to finding the interview extremely difficult, Kemp spoke to officer Donna, who works in E wing, to find out how she coped with working in such an environment.  

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Donna admitted: “I’ve read their trial judge reports and narratives from the courts.  It does affect you obviously because there are things I’ve read that I would rather not have read. You don’t want that imprint in your head.

“I know there are rapists in here and people who would sexually offend against somebody my age or any other male or female officer.  But it’s not something where you think, ‘I come in every day and work with sex offenders who could potentially attack me’.  

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“It takes a certain type of person to come in here and work in an environment like this.  I suppose you could say that the staff who come in here are brave.”

With unprecedented access, Kemp immersed himself in prison life at the sharp end in the iconic prison which has a formidable reputation, having served the city for over 130 years.

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With privileged and exclusive access to every part of the jail, Kemp discovered what it’s really like to be an inmate and how prison officers handle the violence, homemade weapons and drugs, which cast a shadow across daily life behind bars.

He also learned what it’s like to be a lifer, met a prisoner preparing for freedom, and entered the wing of the prison housing sex offenders, the fastest growing group of inmates in the prison system today.