A MARRIED man who trawled the net for pictures of young children was found out when his grown-up daughter stumbled across an image from his twisted collection.

Robert Harris, 58, was said to have developed a habit of looking at the images of underage boys.

But he was spared an immediate prison sentence after Judge Jason Taylor QC heard he was remorseful, willing to engage with the probation service to address his offending and had never been in trouble before.

Sentencing the Chippenham man to 10 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, Judge Taylor said: “What you and anyone else must realise is that children in these images and others when they are performing sexual acts are real.

“You doing this perpetuates the harm that they are enduring and you’re an essential cog. Without people like you there wouldn’t be a market and that’s the gravamen of the offences.”

Prosecutor Tessa Hingston told Swindon Crown Court that Harris’ adult daughter had found what she thought was an indecent image of a child on her father’s laptop as she looked for a file. She told her family, who reported the matter to the police.

When he was arrested, the dad-of-two was “immediately remorseful”, saying to police officers: “Oh my God, oh my God.”

Ms Hingston said: “Even before the devices had been fully analysed he made full admissions in the first interview and went on to confirm those admissions in the second interview after his devices had been examined.”

In total, police found 35 indecent images in category A, including five videos. There were three accessible category B videos and five category C videos.

Harris told the police he had used the TOR browser system and found images of younger boys. The youngest child shown in the images and videos was said to be around 10 years old.

Mitigating, Mark Ashley told the court his client had shown genuine remorse. He had lost his 32 year marriage and no longer had contact with his children. He was working and had secure accommodation.

Harris, of King Alfred Street, Chippenham, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to possession of indecent images. He had no previous convictions.

He must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, up to 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £250 costs. The judge ordered he register as a sex offender for 10 years and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for the same length of time.