A paedophile from Penzance confessed to police that he had been "at it again" after they seized his laptop and phone.

Jason Barnes, 29, of Nicholas Parc, was imprisoned for breaching a suspended sentence imposed in October 2016 for making indecent images of children. He committed similar offences less than a year later.

Prosecutor Philip Lee spoke at Truro Crown Court about how police attended Barnes' home in August 2017 and seized a laptop and phone. When the devices were seized, Barnes told police: "I've been silly, I've been at it again." The devices were found to have more than 500 indecent photographs of children on them: 27 photographs of the most serious category A, 19 of category B and 500 of category C. Another phone was seized in August 2018, and he was also found to have made 20 indecent images of children and to have distributed three.

His internet search history contained phrases such as: "teen 12-18" and "hot boy 14".

He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years in October 2016 for previous offences involving making indecent images of children. At the time, he was ordered to undertake a rehabilitation programme for internet sexual offenders.

It took the probation service until November 2017 to make his first appointment, by which time he had already reoffended.

His defence solicitor Brian Fitzherbert argued that this delay was reason enough for Barnes' sentence to be reduced.

He said: "The reason for imposing the internet sex offenders programme is this: For Mr Barnes it had become something of an addiction. He was a man badly in need of the very effective assistance that programme can provide.

"At that stage he had not had a single appointment. It's something that hadn't happened. The first letter for the programme went out in 2017."

He went on to say: "Mr Barnes is now doing much better. He tells me that the programme was extremely useful, that it's helped him to understand the reason why this insidious material became such a large part of his life."

Mr Fitzherbert also mentioned that Barnes had been accessing help from sex offender charity Circles, and asked for credit for his client's early guilty plea.

Sentencing him at Truro Crown Court today, judge Robert Linford said: "On the 21st of October 2016 you were made the subject of a suspended sentence in respect of the making of a number of indecent images of children.

"That order had coupled with it the requirement to attend a sexual internet offenders programme. It is not acceptable that you were not made an appointment for over a year.

"The judge expects his order to be swiftly complied with, not left for over a year. I expect a written explanation from the probation service.

"While you had the deterrent of a suspended sentence, you did not have access to that programme to help with what your defence has called an addiction.

"A few months after the sentence was made you were downloading images, distributing them. You did not need a court to tell you that what you were doing was wrong, seriously wrong.

"I have seen the descriptions of the videos that you distributed. They are all illegal for you to possess, for you to watch, for you to make, certainly for you to distribute."

Judge Linford went on to say: "You are now taking steps to address what your defence has called an addiction. You have pleaded guilty as early as you could. I propose to activate on some part the suspended sentence."

For three charges relating to the possession, distribution and making of indecent images of children, Barnes pleaded guilty, and judge Linford sentenced him to a total of eighteen months imprisonment, of which he must serve at least half.