A GRANDFATHER with a ‘sordid secret’ was found to have hundreds of indecent images on his computer and mobile phone.

Pictures and videos of children as young as three were found on devices owned by Kevin Hallett after police executed a warrant at his home address.

But before the devices were analysed, the 60-year-old admitted his guilt when interviewed by police.

At Burnley Crown Court it was heard how Hallett, of Vine Street, Nelson, claimed he received no sexual gratification from viewing the images, but that he was merely ‘curious’.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said there were 28 images still available to view on the devices at the time of seizure, but analysis showed there had been 190 images and videos viewed at some point in the past.

He said: “The defendant claims that he was intrigued to view the indecent images while viewing adult pornography, because of pop-ups appearing on the webpage.

“But search history revealed he had also searched for terms such as ‘eight years and above.’”

Judge Sara Dodds said: “I can also see here that he was in possession of images of children as young as three to five years old, clearly in a distressed state. This is an aggravating feature.”

But defending her client, Alison Whalley said that ill-health, including the placement of a stent, had resulted in very little or no sexual interest for Hallett.

She also said that Hallett had told her just before the sentencing that he himself had been abused as a child.

She said: “The defendant admitted guilt at the first given opportunity. There is no admittance of sexual gratification.

“This coming to light has resulted in Mr Hallett losing both his relationship and his home, and he has had to move into new accommodation.

“He has had this hanging over his head for over two years before it came to the sentencing.”

Imposing a suspended sentence of two years upon Hallett, Judge Dodds said: “You have had a sordid secret, a sexual interest in young children.

“These children are victims. They are somebody’s grandchildren. They could have been your grandchildren.

“These children are victims and they are victims because of people like you.”

Hallett pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images and three count of possessing indecent images.