A man who downloaded indecent images of children claimed he was looking for legitimate pornography when he saved the illegal photographs.
Steven Murphy, 55, admitted four counts of making and possessing indecent pictures of children after officers from Lancashire Police raided his home in Clayton Crescent, south Shore, on January 9.
He said that at one point these images had appeared on his computer and he had intended to notify the police
They seized two mobile phones – an Acer and a Sony Ericsson device – which were sent off for forensic examination.
A total of 30 images were discovered to have been stored to the devices.
Of them, seven were the most serious category A images, five were at category B and 18 were at category C.
Paul Cummings, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court: “He said that at one point these images had appeared on his computer and he had intended to notify the police. That is why he had saved them for future reference.
“Further he said that although the images had appeared he had done nothing about them. He had saved them into his computer by double clicking on them.”
Bob Sastry, defending, said Murphy had lived alone in a council flat since 2011 and had never married or had children.
He added: “He said as he was looking on the internet he put in the search term ‘young porn’ intending to look at young girls who were legal.
“He believed the legal age to be 16 but it is 18. He does accept he eventually downloaded the 30 images found on the two telephones.”
Judge Andrew Woolman sentenced Murphy to a community order with 35 days rehabilitation and ordered him to carry out an internet sex offenders program.
He added: “It is obvious you have downloaded a few of these and saved them even though you must have realised they were too young to be able to be in legitimate pornography.”