A Newton Aycliffe man has been jailed for downloading indecent images of young children.
Lee Edward Atkinson, of Waskerley Walk in the town, amassed a huge collection of both still and moving images featuring young girls, plus others containing acts of bestiality.
The 31-year-old, who lost his job with an engineering company when his activities came to light, was yesterday jailed for 14 months.
As reported in today’s Northern Echo, Durham Crown Court heard that police raided his home in March, and removed a lap-top, another computer and hard drives.
Lynsey Colling, prosecuting, said examination of the contents revealed 307 indecent images of children, plus 52 featuring people having sex with animals.
Mrs Colling said the children featured were mainly female, aged four to 13, with 36 of the images classed in the most serious category for such material.
She said there were a further 13,306 moving and still images which, although not illegal, “supported the view that he was interested in young females”.
She said: “They contained child modelling photographs, children in school uniform and others where the subject was young, but it couldn’t be determined if they were under 18.
“He blamed boredom, but denied having a sexual interest in children.”
Atkinson admitted 16 offences of making an indecent image of a child, one of possession of such material, plus three counts of possessing extreme pornography.
Ron Mitchell, mitigating, said the defendant, a divorcee who lives with his mother, denies having unhealthy interest in children, but was “thrill-seeking”, knowing such activity was illegal.
Jailing him, Recorder Rodney Jameson also imposed a sexual offences prevention order, limiting his computer use and access to the internet for five years.
Atkinson was also banned from working with children, and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register, both for 10 years.