A WOMAN alerted police to report her concerns over the content of her former partner’s emails.
Durham Crown Court heard she became suspicious after a message advertising a flirting website was received on Steven Jackson’s phone in the early hours of Christmas Eve.
On further examination she discovered another email, from someone called ‘Chris’, containing a number of indecent images of children.
Police seized the phone plus a computer tower and both were found to contain more indecent photographs of children, mostly at lower levels of severity, but 48 classed in the second most serious category, involving girls as young as four and six.
Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said it emerged that Jackson was in regular communication with like-minded people, discussing exchanging such images.
Mr Bennett said Jackson was arrested two days later and, “after initial prevarication”, when he tried to suggest other people had access to his computer, he accepted taking part in the email exchanges and receiving child pornography.
Tom Moran, mitigating, said the defendant was candid about his activities, and told the court: “It’s difficult for someone like him to concede he has an interest in underage children.”
He added that Jackson was not bitter about his ex-partner reporting him, as he believed she did the correct thing.
Jackson, 26, of Southdowns, Chester-le-Street, admitted charges of downloading and possession of indecent images of children.
Judge Peter Kelson jailed Jackson for six months and made him subject to both a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, limiting his future internet use, and registration as a sex offender, each for ten years.