The Foreign Office has confirmed that a 63-year-old British national has been remanded in custody in the African country of Ghana charged with having sex with another man.

John Ross Mcleod appeared in court at Accra on Monday. A photographer, he was arrested at an airport.

Officials searched him and allegedly found a CD containing images of Mcleod having sex with a 19-year-old.

He pleaded guilty to “unnatural carnal knowledge” and has been given the option of a fine of £320 or six month in prison, The Guardian reports. He denies possession of obscene images.

Macleod met Emmanuel Adda, a 19-year-old Ghanaian, on the internet, reports The Guardian.

A police spokesman said: “During his [Mr Macleod's] stay in Ghana, Adda travelled round the country with Macleod, who took the opportunity to sodomise him and took pictures as well.”

While Ghana is famed for its friendly and tolerant society, its predominantly conservative character means that homosexuality is still considered a moral aberration, or even a myth.

The Constitution guarantees the protection of human rights regardless of “race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender”, but does not mention sexuality.

This omission contradicts the landmark 1994 legal case of Toonen vs Australia, in which the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that sexual orientation should be considered a status protected from discrimination.

In practice, few people in Ghana have been convicted of homosexual acts.

Internet sites such as Gaydar host Ghanaian profiles, suggesting enforcement is less that strict.

Homophobic violence, however, remains a real problem, and gay Ghanaians are generally forced to hide their sexuality behind closed doors.

In September last year, the Ghanaian government banned an LGBT rights conference that was meant to be held in the city of Koforidua.

The Information Minister, Kwamena Bartels, said the government, “shall not permit the proposed conference anywhere in Ghana… homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality are offences under the laws of Ghana.”

He then reportedly encouraged the Interior Minister to investigate and punish those who had given initial permission to the organisers.

Ghanaian human rights groups have been less than energetic about addressing the issue.

In March gay pressure group OutRage! sent a letter to Ghanaian President John Agyekum Kufuor demanding he repeal laws criminalising homosexuality.

The President was visiting London to mark 50 years of Ghana’s independence from Britain.