A 26 YEAR OLD man found with hundreds of indecent images and videos of children on his computer was spared jail.

Greg Hale, of Albion Avenue, York, was given a community sentence after he pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing and distributing of indecent images and videos of children.

He will serve a three-year-long community order with three years of supervision and a compulsory requirement to complete a sex offender’s treatment programme.

Prosecutor Jonathon Devlin told the court that Hale, 26, had been using a file sharing network which let him download pictures and make his own images available for others to download, when police searched his home in December 2012.

Hale's computer was taken away for examination and it was revealed that on it were a total of 1005 indecent photos and 11 videos, both live and deleted, between levels one and four of a possible five levels of severity, he added.

The court heard the bulk of the images had been deleted, and Recorder Jeremy Hill-Baker considered a psychologist's report on Hale, which showed Hale had himself been a victim of criminal activity, which had in turn affected his character.

The judge said the combination of Hale’s troubled past, good character references and history of hard work and study helped him come to his decision over the right sentence to hand down.

He said: “I have come to the judgement that you are less likely to present a danger of re-offending if you have the opportunity of carrying on the good work you have already started.”

Recorder Hill-Baker also accepted that Hale could not have accessed or distributed the deleted files, which made up the majority of the images found on his computers.

The judge added: “If there is the slightest indication that my judgement has been misplaced, I will reserve this case for myself and a custodial sentence will follow.”

A Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which ensures police can check the internet history of any computer Hale uses, was also imposed.