A PENSIONER lost his marriage as a result of downloading images of child abuse from the internet.

Blackburn magistrates heard one of the images downloaded by John Leslie Leaver was a category A image involving the rape of a girl aged between 10 and 13 years of age.

Leaver, 68, of Barker Court, Brierfield, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent images of children. He was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months and made subject to community supervision for 18 months with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was put on the sex offender register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order both for seven years and ordered to pay £85 costs and £115 victim surcharge.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said police received information from the National Crime Agency about indecent images being downloaded to an IP address which was connected to the defendant's home. A search warrant was executed and the images discovered.

"He admitted looking at indecent images of young girls and was extremely apologetic and remorseful," said Miss Allan.

"One of the images was a Category A which involves children being raped."

David Lawson, defending, said his client accepted what he had done was deplorable but asked the magistrates to take into account the small number of images and that they hadn't been shared.

"As a consequence of this he has lost his marriage," said Mr Lawson. "His wife has left the marital home and gone to start a new life in Scotland and she has made it clear divorce proceedings will follow."