A MAN caught with indecent images of children, some as young as three, has been ordered to undergo rehabilitation.

Steven Reddall was handed a 24-month community order at Salisbury Crown Court on Monday, after previously admitting three counts of possessing indecent images of children.

Judge Susan Evans ordered Reddall to complete 40 rehabilitation days - a larger amount than normal for such offences - though no other orders were imposed, bar Reddall being on the sex offenders' register for the next five years.

Prosecuting, Richard Wayman said Wiltshire Police visited Reddall’s address in Coronation Road, Ludgershall, in November 2017 after concerns over his search history.

Forensic tests on a computer seized from the house showed 15 indecent images of children had been downloaded between September 2016 and August 2017, and Reddall confirmed the computer was his.

Mr Wayman said the images, which included four in the most serious category which showed children aged three to five-years-old.

Reddall initially told police he had downloaded the images by mistake, when trying to access adult pornography involving teenagers, and that he had deleted them when he realised they showed young children.

But police said evidence showed “deliberate searches for images portraying young children”, Mr Wayman said.

Defending, Ellen McAnaw said Reddall, aged 40, had struggled to come to terms with a recent diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, and was waiting to find out if he has post traumatic stress disorder because of incidents during his upbringing.

“It’s difficult for Mr Reddall to explain quite why he looked at that material,” she said, but said Reddall had confirmed that he had “sexual fantasies about children”.

“It’s fair to say he would trawl the internet for all sorts of material,” she added.

Ms McAnaw said Reddall was remorseful and has taken voluntary rehabilitation courses and therapies since his arrest, and that he is still working full-time making air conditioning and ventilation units and living with a long-term partner.

Judge Evans said: “The children depicted in these images are real children, suffering real and horrific abuse.

“You’re the market, you’re the reason why it it happens and you bear that responsibility.

“Make no mistake that this is a very serious offence.”