A Grantham man who admitted looking at indecent images of children was given a suspended jail sentence after a judge decided it was the best way to protect the public.
Wayne Ayto, 47, made immediate admissions to the police after they executed a search warrant at his home in Longcliffe Road in September last year.
Lincoln Crown Court heard officers carried out the search after receiving intelligence and seized a number of electronic devices.
When the devices were analysed they were found to contain 144 indecent images of children, 348 extreme images and one prohibited image.
The court heard 25 of the images relating to children were in the most serious category of A, including one video, 31 at level B with one video and 88 at level C.
Leanne Summers, prosecuting, said: “The youngest age in the images is eight, the oldest is 16.
“One of the videos lasted 15 minutes and 59 seconds.”
Ayto, who had no previous convictions, made immediate admissions at the scene and told police in interview that he became curious about pre-teen images after accessing adult pornography.
In mitigation, the court was told Ayto had sought help from his GP after his arrest and was “full and frank” with the police.
He also pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and a letter from his wife was handed to the judge.
Ayto, of Longcliffe Road, Grantham, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing indecent images of children following the search on September 27, last year.
He also admitted possessing extreme images and one prohibited image.
Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst made it clear to Ayto that his offences were not a victimless crime.
But the judge said the reality of a short prison term meant he would not be treated and sentencing guidelines recommended a community sentence if there was a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.
Ayto was sentenced to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work in the community.
He must also complete 40 rehabilitation days, was disqualified from working with children and was made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for ten years.
Judge Hirst warned Ayto that he would be jailed if he did not comply with the sentence.