A FORMER prison worker has been handed a three-year community sentence after being caught with indecent images of children on his computer.

William Evans, 63, of Hawthorn Close, New Earswick, had a video and 14 indecent pictures of children on his computer when it was seized by police in June 2012, a court heard.

Analysis showed Evans had used specific search terms to find the images, and had used software to download them.

He was arrested and interviewed by detectives, and pleaded guilty to 11 charges of making an indecent image of a child on his first appearance before magistrates. He was sentenced on Monday at York Magistrates Court.

Defending Evans, solicitor Neil Cutte said his client was a lonely man who had limited contact with other people, and had started using the internet to combat this.

Deprived of his computer since the police took the machine for analysis, Evans had no intention of ever trying to access the internet again, Mr Cutte said.

The offences were particularly sad bearing in mind Evans’ background in the army and the prison service, he said.

Mr Cutte said his client had a small amount of images classified at the least severe end of the scale, and one video classified at level four out of five.

He said: “Is it necessary that this 63-year-old man should be placed on a prison sentence?

“He knows all about prison and he doesn’t want to go back there.”

Magistrates read a report prepared by probation service and spared him jail by sentencing him to a 36-month community order with supervision, and a requirement to complete a specialist sexual offenders’ treatment programme.

Magistrate Fay Wood also ordered Evans, to register his details with police for the next five years, handed him a sexual offences prevention order, and ordered him to pay £85 court costs and a £60 surcharge.