A man who downloaded a sickening collection of child abuse images has been spared jail.
Police found 35 indecent pictures on Bret Scott's laptop after a raid at his home.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 22-year-old's computer history showed he had been searching for such images and discussed his interest in chat rooms.
Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "There was evidence on the computer of the defendant having actively searched for such images.
"The search terms were consistent with child pornography being accessed by the defendant on a regular basis.
"There was also chat room conversations between the defendant and other parties which would, again, confirm his interest in such material."
Scott, of Collingwood Court, Washington, admitted making and possessing indecent images of children.
Judge Robert Adams told him: "There is evidence of you looking for and viewing child pornography on a regular basis.
"You were also involved in chat conversations, demonstrating your interest in this sort of behaviour and these sort of images."
Judge Adams said despite the seriousness of the offence, a sentence that allows Scott to deal with his problems would be the "far more constructive approach".
Scott was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements.
He must sign the sex offenders register for seven years and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order indefinitely.
Alec Burns, defending, said Scott is a hard working man with no previous convictions who has already lost a lot through his behaviour.
Mr Burns added: "He is finding it very difficult to come to terms with what he has actually done.
"He knows he needs help."
Mr Burns said Scott is prepared to work with those who can assist in tackling his problems.