A TEENAGER suspected of downloading indecent images of children told police he was a “paedo-hunter”.

Durham Crown Court heard that police visited the home of Ethan Isaac Scott, on June 7, last year.

Uzma Khan, prosecuting, said Scott was coming down the stairs at the time and casually told the officers: “I know what this is about.”

He said he had been a “paedo-hunter” about six-months earlier when he used an online site called Discord.

Scott claimed to have pretended to be a girl when hunting “paedos”.

His phone and lap-tops were seized and analysis revealed more than 300 indecent child images, 60 in the most serious category for such material.

Judge James Adkin commented: “It’s an awful lot of images for someone who’s only interested in driving down paedophiles.”

Miss Khan said the Crown does not accept the defendant’s real role was as a paedophile hunter and added that he made, “various admissions in interview”.

Chris Morrison, mitigating, said Scott, now 20, of Ushaw Villas, admitted possessing indecent images of children at the magistrates’ court.

He said Scott , who is of previous good character, has, “features of autism in his nature.”

Judge Adkin said given his past clean record, his early admissions and “limitations” being on the autism spectrum, he could suspend the eight-month sentence for two years.

Scott must complete 80 days working with the Probation Service as a sex offender and observe a four-month 7pm to 7am home curfew,.

He will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Oder and registration as a sex offender, both for ten years.

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