A MAN was caught with dozens of child pornography pictures after internet investigators tipped off police about his computer activity, a court heard.

Peter Lloyd initially denied trawling the web for images of youngsters being abused and insisted he had found them accidentally when he searched for adult porn.

But after his computer equipment was examined by experts, the 39-year-old confessed to looking at the vile images, prosecutor Sue Jacobs told Teesside Crown Court.

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Among the 150 pictures were two of a six-month-old baby, and others involved children aged from three to eight, Mrs Jacobs told Judge Tony Briggs yesterday.

Judge Briggs told Lloyd: "The images are disgusting. They fuel a disgusting trade, and the trade is one which inevitably involves the abuse of children. For that reason it is serious."

Lloyd, of Woodlands Terrace, Darlington, was given a suspended three-month prison sentence and was ordered to go on a sex offenders' treatment programme.

His barrister, Ian West, told the court that Lloyd had accessed the material behind his wife's back.

Lloyd, who was also ordered to undergo two years of supervision, admitted 16 charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing them.

The court heard that police raid took place after a tip-off from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Service.