A man was found to be in possession of more than 40 images depicting sexual abuse of children as young as two.

Craig Griffiths, 33, was also found with 13 prohibited images of children when his devices were examined by police.

The images, which were found on his mobile phone, were all of real children.

Paul Cummings, prosecuting at Burnley Crown Court, said Griffiths was spoken to by officers from the online child abuse team when they visited his address on February 28, 2022.

Griffiths told them he had viewed indecent images of children “once or twice” and his devices were seized.

Upon examination, a mobile phone was found to contain four Category A images (the most serious), 22 Category B images, and 17 Category C images, as well as 13 further prohibited images.

A tower computer that was also seized revealed search terms suggesting Griffiths had been looking for indecent images.

Mr Cummings said the victims in the pictures were girls aged between two and 12 years old.

Griffiths, of Hollingreave Road, Burnley, was interviewed twice by police and provided no comment answers to all questions.

Shannon English, mitigating, said her client had struggled with his mental health “for a long time” and was experiencing low mood, low self-esteem, and loneliness at the time of the offending.

She said the company he had decided to keep “was not the appropriate kind” and he is “disgusted” with himself.

Ms English added Griffiths has recognised his behaviour and is motivated to address his issues.

Griffiths pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images (possession) and one count of possessing prohibited images of a child.

Judge Daniel Prowse, in sentencing, said: “Each of those images was of real children somewhere in the world being sexually abused for the gratification of others.

“It can blight those children, and often does, for the rest of their lives.

“You accept you were looking at those images for your own sexual gratification.

“You are someone who does pose a realistic prospect of rehabilitation. You accept you have got a problem and want to work with probation.”

Griffiths was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

He must also complete 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days and will be subject to an electronically monitored curfew between 11pm and 6am for three months.

He was also imposed with a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and will be subject to notification requirements for the same period.