A Kettering man who downloaded and distributed vile sexual images of children has walked free from court.
Matthew Cloke, 41, of Mill Road, was arrested by police after they searched his home on November 11, 2015.
Forensic analysis of his laptop and a USB stick found Cloke to be in possession of hundreds of sick images and videos.
They found 40 Category A images of children, 19 Category B images and 211 Category C images, Category A being the most serious.
Further forensic tests found 341 images portraying sexual acts with animals and 18 prohibited images of children, which were a mixture of cartoons and CGI.
They also found that Cloke was using a file-sharing software which – unbeknown to him – made 60 images available to download for others.
The bulk of these shared images were Category A, prosecutor Caroline Bray told Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday).
Miss Bray said: “Mr Cloke states that yes, he was using file-sharing software, but he did not know that this was making them available to download.
“When you put this software on your computer it very often shares things automatically.
“This defendant had made 60 files available over the internet.”
Cloke admitted the six charges facing him at earlier hearings.
Mitigating, Sam Skinner said: “He is a man of good character who has assisted police and fully admitted this to them.
“There is evidence of remorse.”
Cloke could have faced between two and five years behind bars for the charge of distributing indecent images but Recorder Butterfield QC showed leniency and gave him a suspended sentence.
Cloke was given 16 months for distributing images, eight months for possessing extreme pornography and eight months for possessing prohibited images.
He was given eight months for possessing Category A images, six months for possessing Category B images and four months for possessing Category C images.
The sentences will be served concurrently and are all suspended for two years.
Sentencing, Recorder Butterfield said: “The steps you took to pursue your own interests had risks, risks which crystallised.
“I have been persuaded that it is right to suspend your sentence.”
Cloke was also made to sign the sign the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years, made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.