A father whose toddler died in a tragic accident kept an arsenal of guns and other weapons at the family home, York Crown Court heard.

Adam Mugleston, prosecuting, said police found a working illegal .22 calibre rifle with a telescopic sight, two types of .22 ammunition, four air rifles, a crossbow, four swords, a machete, five animal traps, 18 knives, two air pistols and a starting pistol at Peter Lyle's home on February 16.

One of the rifles was lying on a bed, 16 of the bullets were designed to expand on impact and some of the weapons were in an unlocked cupboard.

Recorder Simon Jackson QC said: "It is a matter of concern that this man has an interest, , what others might describe as a fixation, on collecting weapons."

In May, an inquest heard that Lyle's 23-month-old daughter Lucy died in October 2013 when she pulled a television on top of her in a freak accident.

Lyle's barrister Chris Dunn said her death had had a "catastrophic" effect upon the family and he was needed to help his wife and their older child cope with the impact.

"Given what has happened to him of late, whatever sentence is passed on him will pale in comparison with the life sentence which has been passed on him because of what happened to this young child," said Mr Dunn. The court heard Lyle also suffered two other close family bereavements in 2013.

The judge gave Lyle an 18-month sentence, but suspended it for two years because of the "exceptional circumstances" of his child's death, on condition Lyle did 250 hours' unpaid work and observe a four-month curfew between 8pm and 6am. He must also pay £390 towards prosecution costs and a £100 statutory surcharge.

Lyle, 39, a self-confessed weapons collector of Great Habton, near Malton, pleaded guilty to possessing a gun without a licence and two charges of possessing ammunition without a licence. Mr Dunn said he would sign a disclaimer so the police can destroy all the weapons including the ones he had legally.

He told police he found the gun concealed in a shallow hole and discharged it a couple of times to see if it worked. He had intended to hand it to police but didn't get round to it.

According to the prosecution he had kept it for two years, according to his barrister, he had kept it for one year and didn't have a fixation on weapons, but was a "country man" who lived in an area where weapons were routinely used for country sports.