A 56-YEAR-OLD man who downloaded hundreds of indecent images of children has been handed a community order.

Police executed a warrant at the home of Peter Moore on Jethro Street in Bolton on January 14, 2018 before forcing entry after it was clear no-one was in.

Prosecuting, Gavin Howie told Bolton Crown Court that officers seized “quite a large number of electronic devices”.

Accessible and inaccessible images over still and video images were found on a computer hard drive and a USB pen drive.

A total of 111 category A images, 88 category B images and 480 category C images were discovered.

The defendant was interviewed by police on November 1, 2019 and he admitted downloading two indecent items and said he downloaded them for sexual gratification.

There was no suggestion that the images he downloaded was distributed to anyone else.

After being questioned, Moore was charged and made an early guilty plea, in a hearing on March 23 this year.

The court heard Moore had three previous convictions for nine offences, including indecent assault and possession of indecent images of children.

Judge Martin Walsh took into consideration the defendant’s early guilty plea as well as his previous offences before sentencing him in court on Thursday afternoon.

Addressing Moore, Judge Walsh said: “You are to be sentenced for three offences relating to the downloading of indecent images of children including category A, the most serious images.

“There’s been a considerable delay in the proceedings being brought before the court but I have to have regard to the interests of justice in deciding on the appropriate way of dealing with you.

“The public interest is best served by you working with the probation service to address your offending behaviour for them to supervise you for the maximum period of time in the community.

“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear to you that if you fail to engage with the probation service then you will brought back before the court and you could find yourself being sent to custody.”

A concurrent community three-year order was made and he must complete 35 rehabilitation requirement activity days and attend a sexual offenders course.

A five-year sexual harm prevention order was made as well.

The forfeiture and destruction of the hard drive and pen drive was ordered too.

Judge Walsh added: “As I say, if you fail to co-operate with the probation service under the terms of this order you will be back before the court and custody remains a very real possibility.

“Because these offences, offences of downloading, are offences that involve the abuse of very real children.”