A married clergyman from Staffordshire has been ordered to register as a sex offender after being convicted of repeatedly viewing pornographic images of children on the internet.

The Rev Dominic Stone will be sentenced in December after a jury at Stafford Crown Court found him guilty of 16 specimen charges of making indecent photographs of children.

Jurors took around three-and-a-half hours to unanimously convict the 47-year-old father, whose computer was found to contain around 600 illegal pictures of children.

Granting Stone unconditional bail and adjourning the case for Probation Service reports, Judge Mark Eades gave no indication of the ultimate sentence that the vicar will receive.

Stone, of Moisty Lane, Marchington, near Uttoxeterwas suspended in January 2009 from his post as team vicar for the Church of England parishes of Marchington, Marchington Woodlands, Kingstone and Leigh.

He told that court someone else may have used his computer to access the images on January 7 and 8, 2009, while he was not at the vicarage.

But prosecutor Michelle Heeley said Stone, whose wife was at work, was the only person with access to the computer and evidence showed he used it for "legitimate purposes" at around the time the images of children were downloaded.

Ms Heeley told jurors: "Whoever was looking at these (images) didn't just accidentally stumble across them - they saw the image and they looked at it again.

"There was nobody else at the vicarage at that time that could have physically accessed that computer."

In police interviews, the court heard, the vicar suggested someone else may have had a key for the vicarage or that the computer may have been infected by a virus.