A MAN lost a “particularly good job” after he was charged with possessing indecent images of children.

A court heard how some of them involved particularly young children being subjected to sexual abuse.

Richard Anthony Clarke, 52, from Chester, has now been given a suspended jail sentence.

He has also been ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.

Clarke, of Neville Drive at Boughton, admitted that between June of 2016 and January 2017 he made by downloading 13 category A images – the worst kind – along with 15 category B and 13 category C images.

Appearing at Flintshire Magistrates Court he received a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was sent on a programme run by the probation service named Horizon – 29 group sessions covering 60 hours.

Clarke, who was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order to cover his use of the Internet, was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £140 surcharge.

Magistrates said the offences involved shocking images of extremely young children being sexually abused.

However, Clarke had no previous convictions, he had co-operated with the police and he had shown remorse and a willingness to be rehabilitated.

Prosecutor John Wylde said police had seized and examined Clarke's computer.

Solicitor Catherine Jagger, defending, handed in a large number of references including a letter from Clarke himself.

She said the people who had written on his behalf had been made aware of the nature of his offending.

He was a man of no previous convictions who had lost a particularly good job and his reputation after he was charged.

Clarke had not tried to minimise his offending, said Miss Jagger.

There were not a large number of images but he accepted they included the most serious category A images.

Clarke, said Miss Jagger, had shown “genuine remorse and disbelief” at his actions.

“To say he is devastated does not really cut it.

"It does not adequately describe how he feels for being before the court today,” she said.

Sentencing guidelines had been explained to him but Miss Jagger said a sex offender treatment programme would be a proper alternative to an immediate custodial sentence.

“He will stay well clear in the future,” she said.

Magistrates had earlier decided to deal with the case themselves rather than sending it to the crown court for sentence.