A MAN’S predilection for young girls came to light after his “disgusted” wife found an email on his phone containing indecent images of children.

It led to her separation from husband David Jones and the “discovery” was reported to police by a third party the angry woman had informed.

Durham Crown Court heard that Jones was arrested the following day, in April, when officers seized his mobile phone and lap-top computer.

Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, said examination of the contents revealed 325 indecent images, mostly in lower levels of severity, but nine at the second most serious category.

Jones made “frank” admissions saying he sought and downloaded about 5,000 indecent pictures of young girls in recent years, although many were on a, previously disposed of, computer.

Mr O’Brien said the defendant told police he found images of girls aged eight to 16 “sexually gratifying”.

Jones, 48, of Selby Gardens, Consett, County Durham, admitted 16 counts of making, and one of possession, of indecent images of children.

Peter Schofield, mitigating, said Jones “very much regrets” his actions.

“He thought long and hard about seeking help over the issue, but there was no-one to turn to, and so it continued.

“The day his wife discovered the images on the phone was the day their four-year marriage was effectively over.

“She left within a day and he was arrested, and it also brought an end to his employment doing security work."

Recorder Peter Makepeace said due to his admissions and the low level of most of the images, he could avoid sending Jones to prison.

He imposed a two-year supervision order, to include treatment as a sex offender.

Jones will also be subject to registration as a sex offender, for five years, and must comply with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.