A PERVERT, who was sentenced for downloading thousands of indecent images of children, has claimed he was told to delete his internet browsing history by his bank.

In April 2016, James Aherne, 53, of Osbourne Grove, Bolton, admitted possessing 355 of the most serious category A photographs and videos of children, 759 category B images and 94,528 category C images.

He was given a suspended prison sentence and made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

The order banned him from deleting internet browsing history or installing browser clearing software on any devices he uses and requires him to provide them to police for inspection when required.

But last year it was discovered by visiting officers that Aherne had deleted his browsing history on a tablet and a mobile phone belonging to him.

Aherne’s tablet had three applications loaded onto it, all capable of concealing internet browsing history and another installed on the phone.

When asked why the internet history was not on the devices the defendant explained he had not been using the internet on his phone and, with regards to the tablet, he asserted that the bank had advised him to delete his internet history after he had issues with the banking.

No illegal images were found on any of Aherne’s devices.

Appearing at Bolton Crown Court for sentencing after he pleaded guilty to three breaches of his sexual harm prevention order, Aherne was released on bail after Judge Graeme Smith agreed with Keith Jones, defending, that a Newton hearing was required to ascertain if the defendant was telling the truth about the bank.

Mr Jones said Aherne’s bank had been contacted and a recording of a call made between him and the bank was being made available to the court.

Aherne’s sister will also be called as a witness for the defence.

Judge Smith said the hearing was needed to see if there was “something more sinister” about Aherne’s actions and ordered the defendant to return to Bolton Crown Court on September 3 when he will be sentenced.