AN OLD Town man who scoured the internet for movies and pictures of children being abused has been spared jail.

Mark Robson, who lives close to a primary school, put the term "five-year-old raped'"into a search engine along with other vile phrases including 'girls drink vomit'.

But after hearing the 44-year-old had mental health problems and could be treated by probation a judge suspended the sentence.

Coin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the police became aware of a certain email address was in possession of indecent images of children.

In April 2017 police went to his home on Evelyn Street and his computers and mobile phone were seized.

As well as scores of movies and pictures on his Dell laptop they also found peer to peer sharing software.

"The operator of the computer had carried out a number of searches," Mr Meeke said.

"Some of them appear to express an interest in indecent images of really young children of an extreme nature."

When he was questioned Robson at first said that someone else had been using his computer, then that he had been looking at adult pornography not children.

After his machines had been examined he was found to have almost 200 movies, about half in the worst category, and a few pictures.

Robson pleaded guilty to six counts of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography.

Tony Bignall, defending, said his client had mental health problems which started about 11 years ago.

He said Robson had not been working, had too much time on his hands and was using his computer too much.

Judge Robert Pawson said that, despite his serious mental health issues, the probation service could work with Robson.

A one-to-one programme would offer the best chance of Robson being rehabilitated.

But the judge was scathing of Robson's behaviour. "There are children somewhere on this planet who are having that done to them and the only reason they are having that done to them is so that people like you can look at it on the internet. You are directly responsible for that sexual abuse of those children."

He imposed a 22 month jail term suspended for two years with 45 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

Robson will also have to register as a sex offender and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and pay £500 costs.