A PROLIFIC paedophile downloaded thousands of indecent images of children ‘out of boredom’ after he lost his family and friends following a previous conviction, a court heard.

James Sharrock, 55, was given a community order in 2011 for possession of indecent images of children when his wife found pictures on his computer. He moved out of their home and lost his job.

Having moved to Winchester to look after his sister who had been diagnosed with cancer the offending arose from a “lack of purpose”.

Winchester Crown Court heard on Tuesday that Surrey Police, the Met Police and Hampshire Constabulary had been investigating Sharrock when officers attend his address in Spicers Court on July 24, last year.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said that 4,333 images were found on several of his devices, 2,069 of them were described as category A, said to be the worst type of indecent images.

The officer in the case PC Kristin McMahon said these “were some of the worst images of child abuse I’ve seen”, adding that they were “sadistic” showing “children tied up, degraded and suffering physical as well as sexual abuse”.

Some of the images also showed children that were drugged, with the age of those in the videos and pictures ranging from two months to 12-years-old.

Sharrock, who is registered disabled, had installed BitTorrent on his computer which allowed not only him to download images of mass but also allow others to download indecent images from him.

Quentin Hunt, defending, said: “In respect of the reasons for offending, Mr Sharrock puts it forward as a way of explanation rather than excuse.

“The offending came from a lack of purpose, he didn’t have a focus in life, didn’t have stable accommodation - boredom and often pursuing sexual gratification as a result of that.

“He is now in a stable flat which is council owned and leased to him. He has a job working in a local pub as a chef and he has stability and purpose in his life.”

Mr Hunt said that Sharrock is also in remission from cancer and has a number of other medical problems.

Sharrock previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, three counts of distributing indecent images of children, possessing nine prohibited images of children and 638 extreme pornographic images.

In sentencing, Her Honour Judge Jane Miller said: “We gave you a chance in 2011. You were given a chance and given a community order.

“We know about four years later from April 2015 onwards you were again downloading images of children.

“There is no realistic chance of rehabilitation, nor do I see any strong personal mitigation, nor do I take the view that immediate imprisonment would have a significant harmful impact on anyone else.

“You had your chance before - you didn’t take it.”

Sharrock was jailed for two years and must be on the sex offender’s register for 10 years.