A MAN who created lewd collages by superimposing genitals on photographs of local schoolboys has been spared jail.

Christopher Booth also downloaded and catalogued hundreds of images of child abuse, including toddlers being raped, as well as extreme adult pornography.

But after hearing the 20-year-old database director at Virgin Media was just a teenager when he committed the offences a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that police were investigating other matters when they took his computers and storage media in June 2012.

But officers soon found he had folders which were full of vile pictures and movies of children as young as 18 months being abused.

Mr Meeke said a total of 1,089 indecent image of children which had either been saved, deleted, or in unallocated clusters, were counted on the machine.

However he told the court detectives now stop counting when they get to a certain amount in a category of image to speed up the investigation.

"There was also photographs of local schoolboys which have been manipulated to have penises added to them. Not an offence but indicative of his proclivities," he said.

An examination of the search engines showed a number of the usual terms had been used as he sought out the vile material.

Booth, of Glebe Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, pleaded guilty to having indecent images of children and extreme pornography.

Tim Greaves, defending, handed the court a letter from his client's father, but added he had not been told of the full extent of his son's offending.

He said the offending took place over a four year period starting when he was aged just 15 years old.

Since his arrest in 2012 he said the matter had been hanging over his head and he had told no-one about it until the past few days.

He said his client comes from a 'respectable and hard working family' and he has to face the stigma and shame of what he has done.

As a result of what he has done he said his job as a database director with Virgin Media may now be at risk.

He said: "These were the actions of a young curious man. He has had the stress and worry of this hanging over him for two years."

Passing sentence Recorder Nicholas Atkinson QC said: "Many of the images having been saved and filed by you are dreadful sexual images of children.

"You have children from 18 months of age up to prepubescent, a large amount appear to be six or seven years of age.

"One is never sure whether they are sexual or simply perverted, sadistic and cruel images. You have spent hours in the dark over many years looking over such images.

"The damage to the children is physical, mental and psychological and potentially long lasting.

"The demand of people like you, who wish to view the matter, guarantees more and more material will be created causing more and more suffering to children.

"Your assaults on these children are through your computer. You have brought shame on your family."

He imposed a 12 month jail term suspended for two years with supervision and a sex offenders' treatment programme.