A PAEDOPHILE hid a tablet containing several hundred indecent images of children by sitting on it when his sex offender manager paid a visit to his home.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Andrew Brown, who has convictions for indecent assault against women and children, is banned from possessing devices capable of accessing the internet unless he first notifies police or a probation officer.

But on September 6 2017 when officers from the sex offender management unit visited Brown's Newby Road home he claimed to only have an X-Box and a mobile phone.

An examination of the home's router found another device had been connected.

"Further investigation revealed it to be a Samsung device and that prompted the defendant to reach under the cushion of the chair he was sat on and retrieve a black Samsung tablet," said Robert Smith, prosecuting.

The tablet was later examined and found to contain 132 of the most serious category A indecent images of children, 185 category B images and 2,237 category C images.

Brown, aged 54, pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual offences prevention order and three counts of making indecent images of children.

The court heard that there had been delays in bringing charges against Brown.

"What worries me is not just the delay in the device being examined — it's nearly two years now — but the delay is doing anything about the breach of the sexual offences prevention order, which he admitted," said Judge Richard Gioserano.

A pre-sentence report stated that Brown's risk cannot be managed in the community but, for the latest offences, the maximum prison sentence which could be imposed would only be a matter of months.

"I want to protect children — that's all I'm really looking at here and the best way of doing that," said Judge Gioserano. "I can't lock him up forever."

Brown appeared in court via a video link from prison after failing to attend for his previous sentencing hearing.

Judge Gioserano sentenced him to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered that he participate in a sex offenders' treatment programme plus 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

He told Brown: "You, for probably the entirety of you adult life, have had a sexual interest in children."

"Unfortunately that has manifested itself in you committing sexual offences against children. It is some time now since you have done that but here you are again accessing the sort of material which, in my judgement, creates the risk that you could indeed, once again, start sexually assaulting children in some way."

Brown, who lives with his carer, also had his sexual offences prevention order amended, with the judge adding a condition that he must answer his door when he is visited by his sex offender manager.