A FATHER-of-two who became addicted to looking at child abuse images over eight years has been spared jail.

Stuart Morgan was caught with 435 indecent images and movies – some of which pictured babies and “extremely young children”.

But Morgan, of Windermere Gardens, Alresford, had attempted to delete the history on his computer before police searched his home in December 2018.

On Thursday Winchester Crown Court was told that the 52-year-old was arrested following an investigation by Hampshire police’s internet child abuse team.

And Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said: “When interviewed he answered no comment to all questions.”

But during an earlier hearing Morgan admitted the offences, which included making 107 indecent images of category A – the worst and highest class.

In mitigation, Daniel Reilly, said that despite Morgan searching the images from 2010 to 2018 he “was not sexually attracted to the children”.

The court was told that he has also begun working on his addiction and has been in contact with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity which is dedicated to preventing child sex abuse. He has now signed onto a programme to tackle his behaviour.

Mr Reilly added: “He is someone that has good knowledge and knows he has to address the factors underpinning his behaviour. It is not something he is running away from.”

Following his conviction Morgan has since split with his wife, debts of over £10,000 has been revealed and he has resigned from his job.

In sentencing, Recorder Malcolm Gibney said: “It is clear to me that you have for a number of years had a significant addiction… that is a form of addiction which can have devastating consequences.”

Recorder Gibney said he believed the level of imagery Morgan viewed was “much higher” than that the police discovered, adding that his attempt to delete images was “calculated and deliberate”.

Morgan was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and is subjected to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years. He must also complete 15 days rehabilitation.