Police found a total of 39 illegal photos on Alexander McNeil’s handset, which was seized during a raid on his South Shields home in June 2019.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the footage featuring children aged four to 12 and was found in a Dropbox storage app on the device.
McNeil initially claimed he knew nothing of the footage, but later said he received ‘something’ from another person when he was 16 or 17, saw what it was. was and had tried to delete it.
The 21-year-old, from Cragside, South Shields, pleaded guilty to making indecent images of children, which fell under all three categories of seriousness.
He admitted the footage was “disgusting and disturbing”.
The court heard he had no problems before or since the offences.
Vic Laffey, defending, said McNeil’s life had improved dramatically, he now had a job and a settled family life.
Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced McNeil to seven months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements, a three-month curfew and an order of £300 for costs.
McNeil must sign the sex offender registry for ten years and comply with a sexual abuse prevention order for five years.
The judge said: “I think, given his age, lack of previous convictions and willingness to work with probation, immediate detention can be avoided.”