Leeds Crown Court today heard how officers had received information about 21-year-old William Leigh distributing an indecent image of a child.
Also in court: Man jailed after encouraging sister-in-law to send him indecent images of underage girlIt led them to search his home in Pudsey while he was at college on May 25, 2017.
Searches of the laptop seized from his bedroom resulted in the discovery of 158 indecent images and 29 videos.
They showed children aged between one and 15 years old, and included 46 images within the most serious category.
Also in court: Man broke victim's jaw with single punch during trouble outsideProsecutor Robert Galley said further evidence was found of inappropriate online searches and chats, including the sharing of three images via Skype.
Leigh had also claimed in one online chat to have had sex with a nine-year-old girl, but Mr Galley said there was no evidence to suggest this was anything more than a fantasy.
Kara Frith, mitigating, said Leigh had been “exceptionally candid” about his offending, adding: “He very much recognises that he needs help.”
She said he had since sought counselling and had the support of his family, but had previously not known where to turn.
Leigh, of Westdale Road, admitted three charges of making indecent images and one of distributing indecent images.
Recorder Paul Greaney QC said a community sentence was not sufficient but he was willing to suspend any prison sentence so that Leigh could take part in rehabilitation programmes.
Leigh was given a 16-month jail term, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work, up to 90 days of group rehabilitation sessions and 15 activity days.
He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.