A PERVERT has been jailed after he downloaded hundreds of child porn images from the internet and then tried to cover his tracks.
Simon Reeve, 32, looked at 284 images of youngsters including a large number in the second worst category of indecency.
He tried to hide his crime by using a sophisticated privacy programme on his computer.
But police discovered the material after they raided his parents home on April 28, 2009, and seized his desktop computer.
Reeve was jailed for 58 weeks at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
He pleaded guilty to the offences only after prosecutors disproved an alibi he claimed to have when the images were downloaded.
It was one of several defences which Reeve had put forward which led to numerous trials being set but then adjourned every time he changed his story.
Of the 284 images of children, 170 fell within the level four category with level five being the highest.
He had also downloaded a movie clip, also at level four featuring a girl no older than 10.
Ian Mullarkey, prosecuting, said the images all featured children between the ages of five and 12 years old.
Reeve, of Park Road, Hartlepool, had deleted them and then ran a programme called Cyber Scrub to make them harder to detect.
He later admitted 16 charges of making indecent images of children and one of possession of indecent images.
The court heard that two years earlier a former girlfriend had found two indecent images of children in a computer folder belonging to Reeve.
Richard Bennett, mitigating, appealed to the judge for Reeve to be given a suspended sentence.
He said: “The images were accessed, they were looked at, they were then deleted.
“They weren’t stored on any other media or on the hard drive.
“The defendant accepts he has a problem.
“He’s not a hopeless case.”
Judge Howard Crowson said Reeve’s case was made worse because of the high number of level four images and by using the privacy programme to hide them.
He said: “I have said in a previous case today I regard 70 as a large number and you had 100 more than what I consider to be large.
“You went to the trouble of using the Cyber Scrub programme to make sure your tracks would be properly covered.
“It’s a level of sophistication that sets you apart from a man who simply presses delete in the hope that no one will search their history.”