A 29-YEAR-OLD Dursley man caught with more than 2,000 pornographic pictures and films – hundreds involving animals and others of young children – has walked free from court.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC ruled it would be better for society for Paul Horsley to be treated for his perverted sexual interests rather than jailed.

Gloucester crown court heard that Horsley had been abused as a child and was introduced to pornography at the age of nine.

He had been downloading it himself from the age of 14.

Horsley, of School Road, Dursley, admitted 15 charges of possessing illegal pornography.

He was given a three-year community order with a requirement that he undergoes the Thames Valley sex offender course.

Judge Tabor also placed him under an indefinite sexual offences prevention order and ruled that he must not live within 300 metres of a school. He was ordered to sign the sex offender register for five years.

Prosecutor Jane Rowley said police received information that a computer user in Dursley was accessing illegal porn and raided Horsley's home on February 15 at 7.30am.

Horsley acknowledged there was inappropriate material on his computers, she said.

"He said he was abused by a local man when he was younger and it was not reported. He said he had been loading pornography for a number of years."

Many of the images and videos found on the computers involved children aged between 8 and 10, she said. There were also examples of 'extreme pornography' which involves bestiality.

"He said he had been looking at inappropriate material since he was 9 when in company with a man named Pete and when he was 14 he had started downloading such material himself.

"These offences cover a four and a half year period from October 2007 until February 2012," said Ms Rowley.

In total there were 1,626 images and 143 films of child porn and 553 images and 20 films of extreme pornography.

Nicola Berryman, defending, said "He is a very lonely man. He is socially inexperienced and inept. It is poignant that the pre-sentence report says he has only one friend.

"He spends a lot of time alone and the report does say that he was abused as a child and has deep-seated issues which have never been addressed."

She said, "He had a job which would remain open to him if he was not sent to prison."

Passing sentence, Judge Tabor said he had initially thought there would have to be a prison term but he was persuaded by Miss Berryman to impose a community order so that Horsley could undergo therapy.