A MAN who harboured a collection of indecent photographs of children has been spared jailed.

William McKinney, who previously lived in Culcheth, was convicted of four counts of making indecent photos of a child, two counts of prohibited images of a child and possession of a controlled drug of class B, namely amphetamine.

The 60-year-old, of Charnwood Street, St Helens, was sentenced to nine months in prison which was suspended for two years at Liverpool Crown Court on January 17.

It is understood McKinney was reported to the police in April 2018 after his search history was flagged up on another computer that he had previously used.

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Unbeknownst to McKinney, his depraved searches were appearing on a device that was being used by an unsuspecting family friend, who immediately alerted the police.

The woman who made the discovery spoke of her shock at McKinney's online activity, adding that she was disappointed by the sentence imposed by the judge.

McKinney was also ordered to take part in a sex offenders' treatment programme as well as sign the sex offenders' register.