AN ANDOVER man who became “addicted to pornography” has been given a suspended sentence after police found indecent images of children on his hard drive.

Officers found dozens of prohibited and indecent images on computer tower, a hard drive and a mobile phone belonging to Jonathan Peacock, of Holland Drive.

The photographs were discovered after police received intelligence that someone at Peacock’s address had been viewing sexual images of children in September last year.

And when initially interviewed he denied the offence and claimed that his computer had been hacked.

At Winchester Crown Court on Friday last week the 29-year-old was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

He had previously pleaded guilty to making 13 category A images – the worst, 11 category B and 73 category C between June 2009 and September 2017, and possessing 64 extreme images between the same dates.

The chemistry graduate had also admitted to possessing 12 prohibited images of children between January 2015 and September last year.

On Friday, Tom Wright, prosecuting, told the court that Peacock had not downloaded the images but they were stored in his browser history.

He added that police had found that Peacock had searched a for a number of websites “where this sort of material could be found” and some of those searches showed that he wanted to engage with young people.

But mitigating, Andy Houston said that Peacock had only “sporadically viewed images of children” over an eight-year period which was indicated by the small number of images.

Mr Houston added: “He is an intelligent young man who became addicted to pornography at university.”

He said that when Peacock became aware of the harm caused to the children involved he expressed distress.

Judge Jane Miller said: “You began looking at adult pornography but that sometimes threw up children pornography and you became interested in it.

“You hadn’t given any thought to the consequences to the victims.”

But Judge Miller did recognise that since the computer equipment had been seized Peacock’s life has changed, and that he is being supported by his partner and employers.

In sentencing, Peacock was also told to carry out 15 rehabilitation days, 100 hours unpaid work and 10 year sexual harm prevention order was made.