A businessman thought it was funny when he posted a film of a young girl being sexually abused online.

Unusually Hung Vanpho posted it on Facebook where he would inevitably be caught, Mold Crown Court was told.

He was involved in a Facebook chat about his hobby of keeping fish in large aquariums, but posted the offending image on it to another person.

It turned out he had downloaded it from the Chinese version of Facebook which was not as regulated as the European version.

He regarded it as a joke and posted it to shock his British friends, it was claimed.

But he now realised it was not funny and was deeply ashamed at what he had done.

He admitted distributing a category A image of child sex abuse, possessing two category A indecent images and possessing nine extreme images depicting sexual acts between humans and animals.

Vanpho, 43, of Aspen Court at Ewloe, told police in interview that he was not interested in such matters and regarded it as something of a joke.

He received a 16 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and was placed on 30 days rehabilitation.

The judge, Mr Recorder Simon Mills, placed him on the sex offender register for 10 years and ordered him to pay £350 costs.

Vanpho, he said, was a man with a wife and children.

He added it was not funny to look at children being sexually abused and they should not be used to shock other people.

“These images are created by evil people around the world,” he said.

They involved real children being sexually abused.

Whatever the motive for sharing them, they were disgusting.

In his case Vanpho said he was not sexually interested in children.

The judge said he would not make a judgement about that but he accepted the case involved a very small number of images, there were no sexualised chats about the abuse of children and there was no surrounding evidence of searching for such material.

He said he considered it likely that he had come across them on the Chinese version of Facebook and then distributed them to another via the European version.

It demonstrated a lack of sophistication and he was inevitably going to be caught.

Barrister Jo Maxwell, prosecuting, said a police warrant was executed last September after police received information about his Facebook activity.

Interviewed, he accepted what he had done, said it was to shock his British friends and obtained no sexual gratification from it. He found it to be a joke.

Vanpho said he was a member of an adult porn site where he engaged in sexualised chats but he was not interested in children.

Police found on his mobile phone two category A videos and nine extreme images.

He accepted sharing the image on Facebook and said he believed the female was aged 17 or 18.

Vanpho said he was horrified to be arrested when he realised the seriousness of what he had done.

He was engaged in his hobby online of keeping fish and large aquariums and there was no evidence that he had engaged in any sexual conversations with anyone else.

Defence barrister Robert Edwards said his client was a hard working businessman with a family and he had no relevant previous convictions.

He was horrified and disgusted with himself.

The police examiner who analysed his phone said there was no indication of an interest in children and no search terms.

The phone had 10,000 messages, it was the only one involving children and all the others related to aquariums and fish.

“It was stupid, one-off behaviour. The lesson has been well and truly learned,” Mr Edwards said.

He now understood it was not funny and was ashamed of his conduct.

Vanpho ran his own business and he and his brother shared 24 hour care for his father who had dialysis three times a week.