A pervert found with hundreds of indecent child images on two mobile phones told police he had deleted them when they came to search his house.

Michael Clegg appeared at Burnley Crown Court where it was heard that following a tip off, police had attended his home in Bacup believing he had illicit images of children on some of his devices.

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, told the court that Clegg, 32, was visited by the police on August 31, 2021.

He said: “The matters came to light as a result of information received by the police.

“They attended the defendant’s home address where he was arrested and cautioned.

“He said he had some images of children sent to him, but he had deleted them.

“He was interviewed on two occasions, on August 31 and then in July 2022.

“In effect he admitted the offences but suggested that he had deleted the images.

“The police say they were not deleted as they were still visible files and were not in his recycle bin or deleted items folder.”

The court heard how Clegg had between two mobile phones, 76 category A images (images of the worst kind), 83 category B images, and 91 category C images, all of which were of young girls between the ages of five and 15, some of which were moving images.

Clegg, of Albert Terrace, Bacup, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, between May 9, 2019, and June 18, 2021.

Mitigating, Keith Harrison said the case had taken some time to get to court due to Clegg’s health issues.

He said: “He has had a kidney transplant and has dialysis three times a week and is cared for by his sister.

“He doesn’t take these offences lightly and there’s scope for some rehabilitation.

“He’s unlikely to appear before the courts again.”

Recorder Daniel Prowse said: “The images were relatively significant in number and most were of young girls, some of them moving.

“All were images of real children somewhere in the world being abused and I am satisfied you had a sexual interest in these.

“You have previous offences but they do not aggravate your position.

“You are it seems, unwell, and that and your guilty plea is your most serious mitigation in this case.”

Clegg was handed nine months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 40 rehabilitation activity days.

He was also made subject to a 10 year sexual harm prevention order and must sign the sex offender’s register for the next 10 years.