A Northampton man who admitted downloading more than 800 indecent images of children has avoided a jail sentence.
Philip Cole, aged 49, appeared at Northampton Crown Court after he was charged with three counts relating to indecent photographs of children.
The court heard police searched Cole’s home address in, Lings, Northampton, on May 4, 2014.
Officers seized a number of items including four memory sticks, a laptop and an external hard drive.
Esther Harrison, prosecuting, said Cole told officers the items “probably had what they were looking for”.
Analysis of the computer equipment revealed a total of 831 indecent images and videos of children, including some infants.
Cole was arrested and, in police interview, admitted he had been viewing the indecent images over a 10-year period.
Ms Harrison said: “He stated it started off as curiosity but it then became something he got sexual gratification from in the virtual world, not in reality.
“He said he had tried to stop himself on many occasions.”
Maxine Krone, mitigating, said Cole described his actions as “disgusting”.
She said: “He accepts his wrongdoing. There was a sense of relief and resignation when the police knocked on his door.”
Judge Lynn Tayton sentenced Cole to a three-year community order including the completion of the sexual offenders programme. He must also complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
He will be on the sex offenders’ register for at least five years.