A married man who down-loaded child porn videos and photographs has escaped a jail sentence.
Simon Barnatt-Smith was arrested in May 2014 after police raided his home and seized computer equipment.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Barnatt-Smith admitted he had accessed child pornography and admitted using particular search terms to find the material.
Mr Howes said: “He said he started looking for music and then moved into adult pornography. He was then led into the indecent images of children area and returned there. He knew it was wrong.”
The court was told that the majority of images downloaded by Barnatt-Smith were of girls aged between 11 and 15 although some of the photographs featured children as young as five years old.
Barnatt-Smith, 47, of Lindisfarne Way, Grantham, admitted two charges of making a total of 403 indecent images of children on dates between June 24, 2013, and May 20, 2014.
He was given a community order with three years supervision and ordered to pay £535 prosecution costs. He was also ordered to complete a community sex offender group programme and given a five year sexual harm prevention order.
Judge Simon Hirst told him: “Until now you were of good character. I am told you are full of remorse, shame and regret. It seems to me that there is the prospect of rehabilitation in this case.
“Ordinarily your offending is so serious that only a custodial sentence will do but given everything I know about you it seems to me that the public would be better served by imposing a community order.”
Alison Summers, defending, said Barnatt-Smith fully co-operated with the police investigation into himself and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
“He has lost his job as a result of these matters. He is currently in receipt of JSA.”