A BRIERLEY Hill man who became obsessed with looking at sickening indecent images of children has been allowed to keep his freedom.

Recorder Abigail Nixon told Robert Evans she would not put him behind bars because he was already taking determined steps to resolve his sickening addiction.

At Wolverhampton Crown Court, the Recorder said: "Without men like you seeking sexual gratification children would not be abused in this way.

"You had a significant number of images of the highest level and you behaved in a repulsive way viewing more extreme images."

She said Evans, aged 58, of Stockwell Avenue, had given no thought to how his offending would affect his family and he would now have to live with the shame But she ruled that because he was already seeking professional help to deal with his obsession there was hope that he would not trouble police in the future.

Evans admitted three charges of making indecent images of children - some as young as six months - and another of distribution.

He was given a two-year jail term suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community The Recorder further made him the subject of a ten year Sexual Harm Protection Order and told him he must register for the same time as a sex offender.

Lynette McClement, for Evans, told the court her client had already paid to attend courses to deal with his addiction because he recognised he desperately needed assistance.

She said he wanted to avoid the trigger that drove him to watch child pornography and he was determined to put his life back on the rails.

Glyn Samuel, prosecuting, said police officers found Evans had 1,200 indecent images of children stored on his computer.

He said Evans' obsession began with visits to internet chatrooms and he went on to share images with others Mr Samuels added: "The defendant himself described some of the stuff he had been watching as really bad and he admitted to officers he had become addicted."