A man was found with a “wealth of indecent images of children” he had downloaded over five years, a court has heard.

Mark Lattimer, 50, was found with a range of images showing children as young as three being abused when police raided his home on Belgrave Street South, Halliwell, on June 16, 2021.

Bolton Crown Court heard how officers found the images after seized his mobile phone and laptop.

Prosecutor Dawn Thomas said: “The majority of images that were found were on the laptop.”

She added: “The search history showed that the defendant had a sexual interest in children.”

The Bolton News: The case was heard at Bolton Crown CourtThe case was heard at Bolton Crown Court (Image: Newsquest)

Ms Thomas told the court that Lattimer had been found to have downloaded Category A, B and C images between February 2016 and May 2020.

After his arrest, Lattimer pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and another count of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

Hannah Forsyth, defending, argued that Lattimer had earned credit by pleading guilty, said that it was not necessary to give him an immediate prison sentence and that he was “more than willing” to comply with any orders the court made.

She also pointed out that Lattimer was of “previous good character” with no previous convictions.

Judge Abigail Hudson accepted that the Lattimer deserved credit for his guilty plea but reminded the court of the “wealth of indecent images” found on his devices which showed “the children, all the children, being abused".

She added: “The reality is that this kind of offending causes considerable harm.

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“Somebody has abused those children and you have encouraged that by seeking out those images and downloading the on your computer.”

Judge Hudson sentenced Lattimer to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered him to take part in the MAPs for Change programme.

She also ordered him to complete 100 hours of unpaid work with 24 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Judge Hudson also told Lattimer that he would be subject to a sex offenders register requirement for 10 years and that he would be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for the same length of time.