A MAN who survived an horrific car crash which claimed the lives of his mother and sister has avoided an immediate prison sentence for downloading child porn.

Daniel Letch’s mother Janet and his 25-year-old sister Hester Garner suffered fatal injuries when their holiday trip to the East Coast turned to tragedy at an accident blackspot on the A64 near Malton, North Yorkshire.

Letch himself suffered a fractured skull when his 49-year-old mother lost control of their Ford Fiesta on a downhill bend and smashed head-on into another car back in September 2000

An inquest held in May 2001 heard that a nail, which caused a slow puncture in one of the Fiesta’s tyres, had been the primary cause of the crash and a coroner recorded accident verdicts in respect of the deaths of Letch’s relatives.

Letch, 42, of Falmouth Avenue, Bradford, was charged with three offences of possessing indecent images of children after police officers went to his home in June and seized computer equipment including a custom-built gaming tower.

Prosecutor Joe Culley told Bradford Crown Court yesterday that inquiries revealed that Letch, who had no previous convictions, had been making deliberate internet searches for indecent images of children and officers discovered nearly 200 items on his computer equipment.

Mr Culley said the majority of the material involved moving images of youngsters and some of the footage lasted up to ten minutes.

He said all the material involved girls and the ages appeared to be range between five and 13-years-old.

The court heard that the indecent material had been obtained by Letch between January 2013 and June this year.

When he was questioned by officers about the images Letch said it had been “stupid, compulsive curiosity”.

Letch maintained that he had viewed the images out of curiosity only and expressed regret for the offending.

Earlier this month he made his first appearance before the magistrates and they committed his case to the crown court for sentence after he admitted the three charges.

Mr Culley said because most of the images were classed as category ‘A’ the sentencing guidelines indicated a starting point for sentence of one year in prison with a sentencing range of between 26 weeks and three years.

Solicitor advocate Alistair Bateman, for Letch, described his client as a very isolated individual who suffered from depression and other physical difficulties.

He said Letch very rarely went out and spent too long on his computer because of his social isolation.

Mr Bateman said Letch had now shown an understanding of the consequences of viewing such images and had fully cooperated with the investigation.

Judge David Hatton QC said he had to take into account that Letch was a man with a number of problems and the probation service believed that he could be assisted in avoiding further offending.

“I hope that’s right because if there is any further offending you will almost certainly have to serve a prison sentence,” he told Letch.

The judge imposed a 12-month jail term, but suspended it for two years and he ordered Letch to comply with a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Letch will also have to register as a sex offender for the next ten years and be subject to a four-month night-time curfew at his home.