A man who downloaded child abuse images has been divorced by his wife after he tried to get her to take the blame for his activity.

Justin House was traced by police through his IP address after searching for extremely serious images and movies which showed children in obvious distress.

He had four photographs and 30 movies which fell into the most serious category.

He had 6,340 images and four movies in lesser categories.

House accompanied his wife to the police station the day after the raid and she claimed she was responsible for the images, but the deception only lasted for 24 hours before he came clean.

The case has led to the breakdown of his marriage in the year since his arrest, Exeter Crown Court was told.

House, aged 49, of Gould Road, Barnstaple, admitted three counts of making indecent images of children and was jailed for a year, suspended for 18 months by Judge David Evans.

He was sent on a sex offenders treatment course and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order which allows the police to monitor his future internet activity.

The judge told him: "You have no previous convictions and are a hard-working man. I am told your marriage is over, which is perhaps not unexpected.

"It is an unattractive feature of this case that you accompanied your wife to the police station and sat by while she tried to take responsibility. It was an unconvincing explanation and the next day you returned and said it was you."

Robert Yates, prosecuting, said the police went to House's home on January 21 after receiving intelligence about him downloading images and movies.

They seized a Dell laptop on which experts found more than 6,000 images, which he eventually admitted downloading between 2012 and 2018.

Richard Crabb, defending, said House's marriage has broken up as a result of this case and he does not know how his employers will react.

He asked the judge to take into account a probation report which said House has already started addressing his behaviour with a course called Stop it Now.

He is suitable for one-to-one treatment work because he acknowledges the sexual motivation behind his offending, while insisting he does not have an active sexual attraction to children.