A PERVERT who had child porn on his computer had an online fantasy life as a 15-year-old lesbian, a court was told.

Geoffrey McDonnell, 59, who also posed as two other fictitious girls, was to tell police he invented lesbian Shannon to talk to other girls on the internet but claimed it was not for sexual reasons.

McDonnell, who was living in Waterfoot with his partner, immediately owned up about his double life when officers raided his home in December last year, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told McDonnell, who didn't dare go out after his actions became public knowledge, said he became Shannon to talk to other young girls about concerns over their sexuality.

He had stopped using the computer two nights before police turned up, after a male sent him obscene pictures of himself and it scared him off.

The defendant had nine indecent images of children on his computer, one of them a level four DVD of two girls committing sex acts and the other eight pictures were at level one and two.

He told police he got the pictures of girls off a photo sharing site.

McDonnell, of Burnley Road East, admitted six counts of making an indecent photo of a child and one allegation of possessing an indecent photo of a child. He had no previous convictions.

The defendant was given a two year community order, with two years supervision, to include sex offender group therapy sessions.

He received a five year sexual offences prevention order to control his internet use and which bans him from communicating online with anyone he knows or believes to be under 16.

McDonnell was ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for five years.

David Bentley, prosecuting, said police went to the defendant's home, last December 12 and he told them :" I have just been stupid.

I pretended to be a young girl, a lesbian. I didn't really mean anything by it. I know I shouldn't do this. It's silly."

John Woodward, for McDonnell, said he was distraught about his behaviour and regretted it.

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said: "You have perverted thinking, there is no doubt about it, and that needs to be addressed by professionals."