A MAN who was caught with hundreds of indecent images of children, some as young as two months, has been told to undergo rehabilitation.

Police executed a warrant at the home of Benjamin Mills, in Searing Way, Tadley, on August 22, last year, and found two devices.

A search discovered that the 35-year-old had downloaded 109 category A images – said to be the worst type – 14 of which were movies.

Winchester Crown Court was told on Thursday that in total Mills was in possession of 562 indecent images.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said: “They show an age range across all three categories as young as two months up to 14 years of age.

“There was a number of files indicative of child abusive. It [his computer] had also been used to search for these images and the hard drive had been used to store these images because of the titles that were found within it.”

In his first interview Mills answered no comment to all questions asked, but in his second police interview said he had “downloaded several images”.

Ms Maylin continued: “He accepted that that must have been the case, and some must have been previously deleted.

“He accepted that it was his fault and no one else was to blame.

“He indicated that he had the problem for many years. He said he had mostly abstained but slipped back into accessing them.”

The court was told that Mills admitted that he downloaded the images for “sexual gratification”.

Defending Adrienne Knight said her client had previously sought help from the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, a charity aimed at preventing child sexual abuse, now from psychosexual therapist Victoria Appleyard.

In a report, Ms Appleyard said that she has already seen a reduction in his risk of reoffending and in his addiction.

In mitigation, Ms Knight said: “He is certainly so ashamed. He described today as being the low point of his entire life.

“His addiction started from a young age, that got worse and worse and worse. It is not different to any other addiction.”

In a letter to the court, an acquaintance of Mills said: “He is a lovely man behind his terrible addiction which he has developed over the years.”

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Keith Cutler imposed a 24-month community order, with 30 rehabilitation days.

He added: “This may be the lowest point in your life but let’s start from here in a positive and constructive way.

“You understand fortunately that this was wrong. I am confident you will never appear before the court again but that is obviously something you have got to work on.”

Mills will be on the sex offenders’ register and part of a sexual harm prevention order for five years.