A STAFFORD man who downloaded indecent pictures of movies of children from the internet was spared a jail sentence by a judge.
Police found nearly 300 illicit graphic items had been stored on his computer with specialist software installed to retrieve them, Stafford Crown Court heard.
They had been gathered together by David Clark over a period of about two years, until police traced an IP (internet protocol) address being used to access websites containing images of child abuse to the defendant's former home in Stone Road.
Robert Edwards, prosecuting, said Clark had 264 indecent images and movies of the least serious level one, seven at level two and four at the more serious level four.
When questioned he said he viewed adult pornography, but had not purposely accessed images of children although they might be on his machine.
Clark, 45, now of Easby Road, Stafford admitted five charges of making indecent images of children. He was given a three year community order to undergo a sex offender treatment programme.
Judge Simon Tonking told him: "I have to choose between a very short custodial sentence and a very long community order. The one which is going to protect the public is a community order."
Clark was also made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order restricting his internet use for the next five years.
Stephen Bailey, defending, said Clark had not distributed any of the images, no attempts to contact any children and no repetition of the offences since his arrest more than two years ago. "He appears to have put this behaviour behind him already, although there is still a lot of work to do."