A LODGER who downloaded 'real images of real children' being exploited for his own sexual gratification has avoided jail.

Gary Mark Woodcock, of Kingholm Gardens, Bolton, was found to have downloaded a range of vile pornographic films, some of which purported to show children being sexually exploited by their own parents.

He was arrested after police raided his home on March 13, 2019, and at Bolton Crown Court, Woodcock was told that his crimes were far from victimless.

Bob Elias, prosecuting, said: “There is no point saying, 'I didn’t create the images, I merely downloaded them or swapped them with a friend'.

“Without demand, such images would not exist.”

Mr Elias told the court how officers had found the images, which appeared to be fragments from four different films, on 65-year-old Woodcock’s computer hard drive after he was arrested.

He said the material would “make right-thinking people feel revulsion and distaste.”

Woodcock was a lodger at the house after splitting up with his wife and Mr Elias said he appeared to have ‘systematically’ searched for the images of children over a long period of time.

Woodcock pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Colin Buckle, defending, claimed that Woodcock felt “sickened by his own behaviour” and in interviews with the probation service had been “candid, genuine and remorseful.”

He added that Woodcock accepts he had felt sexual attraction towards children at the time and that the images had been for his own gratification.

But the Honourary Recorder of Bolton Judge Martin Walsh stressed: “Downloading these images is not a victimless crime, these are real images of real children.

“Those who download them feed the foul work of those who produce such images.”

He sentenced Woodcock to a three-year community order with 50 days of rehabilitation activities.

Woodcock was also placed on the sex offenders' register and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for seven years.