A pervert who downloaded hundreds of indecent images including one of a baby being sexually abused has walked free from court.
Another image found on James Mahoney’s computer showed a young child in forced sexual contact with a dog, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“Police became aware of an email address linked to Mahoney being used to receive indecent images,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting.
“They visited his address and seized computer equipment.
“During the arrest Mahoney told police he had been ‘looking at stories’ on the internet.
“In his formal interview, he said he had used search terms such as ‘daughter rape’ and ‘schoolgirl sex’ to find the images.”
The court heard Mahoney collected 809 images classed as the most serious category A, 671 category B images, and 914 at the least serious category C.
Dad-of-two Mahoney, 36, of Jutland Road, Hartlepool, admitted three charges on making indecent images of children between September and November of 2014.
Mathew Crow, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr Mahoney accepts he has a sexual interest in girls in their teens.
“The images came to him in a compressed file, so he did not know what they contained until he opened the file.
“He deleted the ones of the younger children which did not interest him.
“He now lives with his 81-year-old grandfather as his carer.”
Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Mahoney to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, including a sexual offender treatment programme.
The judge told him: “If I sent you to prison for what would be a short sentence, you would not get any help to address your distorted thinking.
“There is greater benefit to the public that you do get treatment.
“In suspending the sentence, I bear in mind your remorse, your early guilty plea, and I am aware you attempted suicide and there are concerns for your mental health.”
Mahoney was made the subject of a 10-year order limiting his internet use and banning him from unsupervised contact with children.
He must register as a sex offender for 10 years.
The computer equipment seized from Mahoney’s house was confiscated and will be destroyed.