A PENSIONER found with nearly 1,800 idencent images of children has been spared jail.

David Reid, 74, formerly of West Street in Odiham, had photographs of children as young as one year old, a court heard.

Reid, who moved from Odiham to Whyke Close in Chichester, after his arrest was also found to have distributed images to others, including nine of a category A nature.

When police attended his address in Odiham on August 14, they found him to also be in possession of over 100 pornographic movies.

The court heard how he had a "complex" network of computers, hard drives and phones to back up images.

The former hypnotherapist was jailed for two years, suspended for two years, as Judge Susan Evans wanted him to seek the support he "clearly needs".

Passing sentence, Judge Evans said the children he had watched in child abuse films had "suffered long-term physical and emotional harm".

"One of the reasons they suffer is because you are the market," she said.

Winchester Crown Court heard on Friday morning that Reid had discussed his sexual fantasies in Facebook messages with others.

In one message, the court heard how he had said there were "still plenty of teenage girls passing by" outside his house.

He also admitted that his main fantasy was girls in school uniforms around the age of 10, and that he told others a "story of how (he) sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl".

However, Crown prosecuter Edward Warren told the court that this was believed to be a fantasy.

"He admitted that he is sexually aroused by children but reiterated that he had never acted on the fantasies," Mr Warren continued.

The court heard how Reid had visited porn sites and this had led him to his interest in young girls, later joining a Facebook group.

In mitigation, Sharmila Salvi said: "Mr Reid is 74 years of age and of good character and pleaded guilty at the very first opportunity.

"Mr Reid's guilty pleas to all these matters is him fully accepting all of these images, the number of the images, and the format of these images.

"Mr Reid has taken all steps possible to his underlying behaviour."

After a probation report found that Reid's risk of re-offending was low, Judge Evans said she had to weigh up that in prison, he would not get the support he needed, whereas outside of prison he will.

Therefore, his 24 month sentence will be suspended for two years, providing that he comitts no further offences and participates in the sex offenders treatment programme.

He will also have to attend 15 re-habilitation activity days, and will be placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Orders were made for him to pay £425 in costs and a victim surcharge.