A MAN who downloaded hours of movies of children being raped and sexually assaulted has been spared jail.

Liam Jackson had saved vast quantities of images of youngsters, some who were asleep when the abuse started, on memory sticks.

But after hearing the 55-year-old was suitable for treatment to try and stop him offending a judge gave him a chance and imposed a suspended sentence.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court police went to his home in November last year after receiving intelligence that he had downloaded the material.

When his computers were examined he was found to have 125 vile movies of child abuse and two still images.

She said 91 of the films were in the worst category, 21 in the middle range and 13 were the lowest range, with the majority featuring young girls under the age of 10.

Many of the files were found on storage devices meaning it had not only been downloaded but also carefully filed away.

And his computers' search engines revealed he had been looking online for incest and preteen hard core material.

Miss Squire said that while there may only had been 125 files the longest moves was two hours and 40 minutes in length involving children aged six to eight years old.

Another hour long film had youngsters aged from five to 14, some of whom appeared to be asleep when the abuse started.

And a 53 minute movie showed a four year old girl first being molested by a woman and then raped by a man.

When he was questioned the defendant said that he had accessed the material for the previous six years out of 'curiosity'.

He insisted to the police that he was in no way sexually attracted the children and that he had been stupid to do it.

Jackson, of Milton Road, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children and one of having prohibited images.

Passing sentence Judge Robert Pawson read to the defendant part of the police description of the movie of the four-year-old being raped.

He said "It is hard to imagine Mr Jackson anything more repellent than that.

"And Mr Jackson, you may think that because you are only, in inverted commas, downloading you were not responsible: that is poppycock.

"You are directly responsible for people abusing four-year-old children like that.

"Somewhere on the planet there is a four-year-old child who has been raped by an adult male.

"The damage that has been done to her physiologically, psychiatrically perhaps physically is at your door.

"If there weren't people like you downloading it then there would not be people bothering to film it

"And Mr Jackson, many would say you should go to prison for several years but the most important thing is the court should take, insofar as we can where there is a realistic prospect of it, to try and have you rehabilitated so you stop behaving like this.

"The suggestion that you were doing it out of boredon and not out of sexual pleasure is hogwash."

He imposed a two year jail term suspended for 24 months with rehabilitation activity requirement days and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Jackson must also abuse by a sexual harm prevention order and register as a sex offender for ten years.

"Society and children need to be protected. It seems the best way they are protected is by the sentence I have just imposed," the judge told him.