A FATHER from Bolton who pleaded guilty to possessing and sharing graphic images of children has been spared jail by a crown court judge.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard how 26-year-old delivery driver Stefan-Dragos Chirila, originally from Romania, pleaded guilty to three counts of the offence.

His crimes were described as "disgusting" by Recorder Anthony O’Donohoe.

Police conducted a search warrant at Chirila’s home address on Poplar Avenue, Horwich, on October 4, 2019.

During the search, an iPhone was seized and examined - and vile videos were found depicting children carrying out acts of a sexual nature.

Examinations revealed that the defendant had sent some of these images to another contact on his phone, with a message flagging up the content.

Graphic videos depicting animal cruelty, as well as people dying in the New Zealand mosque terrorist attack of 2019 were also found on the device.

Jed Whelan, prosecuting, said: “While the defendant says he was acting out of naivety rather than for any sexual gratification, these were serious offences committed on more than one occasion.”

In mitigation, defence lawyer Fiona Clancy said: “My client has never been in trouble before, abroad or overseas.

“On reflection, he knows what he did was wrong. He accepts that the material that he possessed was distasteful. He is ashamed.

“He is a father, and he is genuinely remorseful for his actions.

"He will not be engaging in any unacceptable behaviour of this again.”

The court heard how Chrila intends to marry his partner of nine years this summer, and has an 18-month-old infant.

Mr Recorder O’Donohoe sentenced Chirila to a two year community order.

This will include 80 hours of unpaid work in the community and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days, under the supervision of the probation service.